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Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Do fish oil pills do more harm than benefit to the heart?

Fish oil supplements taken regularly may have multiple roles in the development of cardiovascular disease.

Fish oil, which is made from the tissues of oily fish, can give otherwise healthy people their first heart attack. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils are often used in supplements to lower cardiovascular risk. However, a new study that was just published in BMJ Medicine suggests that the opposite may be true.

Researchers examined data from the UK Biobank programme, which ran from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2010, and then again until March 31, 2021, spanning almost 12 years.

More than 415,000 British citizens between the ages of 40 and 69 participated in the study. Approximately one-third of the participants reported taking fish oil supplements on a regular basis; those individuals were more likely to be White, older, and female.

In depth

According to the researchers’ study published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal), regular use of fish oil supplements may be associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke in the general population.

However, it may also help prevent the progression of cardiovascular disease from atrial fibrillation to major adverse cardiovascular events and from atrial fibrillation to death.

Fish oil was linked to a 5% increased risk of stroke and a 13% increased chance of atrial fibrillation, a cardiac disorder that occurs for the first time. Notably, the researchers discovered that persons with cardiovascular disease who consumed fish oil supplements had a 15% decreased risk of progressing from atrial fibrillation to a heart attack. They also had a 9% decreased risk of progressing from cardiac failure to death.

Take away

Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart beat, which can occasionally be extremely rapid, raises the risk of having a stroke.

In light of the results, the authors concluded that more research is required to identify the precise processes behind the onset and prognosis of cardiovascular disease events associated with frequent fish oil supplementation.

It is advised that before using any supplements, consumers should speak with a doctor or experts.

By Parvathy Sukumaran

Parvathy Sukumaran is a Content Creator and Editor at JustCare Health. She is an Educator and a Language Lecturer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and an M.A in English Literature. She is passionate about writing, archaeology, music and cooking.

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