|health & fitness|
Fish Oil Steadies Heart Beat
Here is more dramatic proof - again - that a daily serving of seafood conveys powerful health benefits. In this case, it's only a daily supplement of one gram of fish oil, but it reduced the incidence of irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and of sudden death from any cause by 41%, and by 45% from heart related causes, among people who have had a heart attack within the last 3 years.
It is most significant that the subjects were on a healthy Mediterranean diet which is high in fish already. This just demonstrates that any additional food from the sea provides substantial health benefits - and conversely, that our modern daily food is dangerously short of the Omega-3 fatty acids - and the 72 natural trace elements in fish oil.
Moreover, and as so often stated in these pages, the effects became apparent after 3 months of supplementation.
As usual, and as the understanding that we need the complete natural range of the 72 nutritional trace elements in our daily nutrition is as yet lacking, the remedial effects are ascribed to the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) - also known as Omega-3 fatty acids, rather than to the 72 natural trace elements, also present in fish oil.
Since the 72 natural trace elements are needed only in minute quantities - typically in parts per million, or parts per billion - they act chiefly as catalysts, and as 'anchors' in the normal folding of proteins. It is for this reason that the 72 trace elements will be found to be the chief causative remedial agent in this instance.
FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT PROMOTES REGULAR HEART BEAT
Fish oil supplements could help prevent the risk of sudden death, according to new research from Italy. Fish oil supplements have already been shown to help reduce the risk of strokes or heart attack, but this is the first time that they have been implicated in maintaining a regular heartbeat.
Dr Roberto Marchioli of Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in Italy, the lead author of the study, said that the effects of fish oil could be seen as early as three months after beginning supplementation. “The risk of death, and sudden death, is higher in the first months after a heart attack. It is exactly in this period that the effect on sudden death was noted.”
Marchioli started from the hypothesis that adding n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) - commonly found in fish and fish oil - to a healthy diet could lower the risk of fatal arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat that in severe cases can lead to cardiac arrest. His team looked at 11,323 patients who had suffered a heart attack within the previous three, all of whom had received the same medical care and all of whom had healthy, Mediterranean diets – rich in fruit, vegetables, olive oil and fish.
A random group of patients were also given one gram of fish oil supplements per day. Over a three-and-a-half year period, some 1,031 of the subjects died, according to Marchioli, but the data showed that those patients receiving the fish oil supplements had a 41 per cent lower risk of death from any cause after just three months of treatment. After four months, these patients also appeared to be at a significantly reduced risk of sudden cardiac death, while by the end of the study period they were 45 per cent less likely to die suddenly from a heart-related cause.
“This study is important because there is no really effective therapy for arrhythmias,” said Alexander Leaf, professor of clinical medicine at Harvard Medical School, writing in an editorial accompanying the study, published in the 9 April issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Leaf suggested that fatty acids might play a part in regulating the electrical activity of heart muscle cells – a process responsible for the heart rhythm. He added that taking the supplements while eating a Mediterranean diet could enhance the beneficial effects of the fish oil in decreasing the risk of sudden death.
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