Fish oil supplements and heart rhythm disor... - Diabetes India

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Fish oil supplements and heart rhythm disorder: New analysis..

DRH-sangli profile image

Omega-3 supplements are associated with an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation in people with high blood lipids. That's the finding of a study published on 28th April 2021, in European Heart Journal -- Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

"Currently, fish oil supplements are indicated for patients with elevated plasma triglycerides to reduce cardiovascular risk," said study author Dr. Salvatore Carbone of Virginia Commonwealth University, US. "Due to the high prevalence of elevated triglycerides in the population, they can be commonly prescribed. Of note, low dose omega-3 fatty acids are available over the counter, without the need for a prescription."

Some clinical trials have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with an increased risk for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder. People with the disorder have a five times greater likelihood of having a stroke.

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10 Replies

Thank you. Very interesting read.

DRH-sangli profile image
DRH-sangliStar in reply to sandybrown

We use Flax seeds etc to supplement body for omega-3 oils.. do we need to be more cautious?

I am afraid I do not take any supplements but I use good quality flex seed oil in cooking.

Only time will tell!

namaha profile image
namahaAdministrator in reply to DRH-sangli

Dear DRH-Sangli

This is not the first time such research report has been the past also, similar research finding on fish oil supplement was published with zero health benefit or even harmful for health. But , the fish oil supplement industry has a strong lobby ..they would sponsor another research which may say that fish oil is good for health and confuse people .....and people would again go for fish oil supplement...

What was the need for fish oil supplement????

As per Science, Some particular species of Sea fish namely Salmon, Tuna, Anchovies .....found to have EPA / DHA which may be Cardio protecting health benefits AHA recommended such sea fish eating 2-3 times a week. ( Not fish oil)

But then it was found out that sea fish contains a lot of deadly contaminants from sea - cadmium, mercury, Arsenic , PCB, and many types of plastic due to all industrial pollutants , sewerage , drainage leading to sea...

Please see the links below...

So while such sea fish may have EPA/ DHA , which may or may not have any health benefits....but these fish are also sources of deadly contaminamts, which could damage health negatively...

The fish oil manufacturers claim that by distillation of fish oil, these contaminants are removed.....

What is the guarantee ???? Is there any regulation ???? Anybody checking for it ???

Secondly stand alone EPA/ DHA supplements do not offer health benefits like a whole sea fish.....

So what is the solution to the problem ??

There are plant omega 3's sources such as flax seed , chia seed , walnut..these contain short chain fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid which human body is capable of converting in to longer chain fatty acids EPA/ DHA to some extent..provided that you don't eat very large quantity of omega 6 fatty acid ..because omega 6 and omega 3 compete with each other for absorption...

So the right ratio of omega 6: omega3 could be 1:1 to 4:1.....

But whatever oil we use is sunflower oil, safflower oil, soyabean oil, peanut oil , rice bran oil.....where the omega 6: omega 3 ratio goes as high as 100:1. Yes, we also need omega 6 as it t is also an essential fatty acid..( there are two EFA- omega 3 & omega6). But at this high ratio, omega 6 is rich and don't allow alpha Linolenic Acid to be processed and get converted to EPA / DHA....

Flax seeds / chia seeds have omega 6: omega 3 ratio 1 :4

Walnuts have this ratio 4:1

Olive oil has this ratio 10:1

Pistachio ratio 45 :1

All others seeds nuts are totally out of range. Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio are 100:1 and above ..

While almonds Pea nuts donot have omega 3 , though they can give you some other nutrients such as vitamin E, Mg, Ca, Mn, zinc , niacin, folate ....and you may eat limited quantities...

To cut long story short, and as of today based upon latest research ( I may change if there is new findings in future )

I Eat 1 table spoon ful lightly roasted flax seeds and powdered... twice daily - I mix with my Brown rice Dal mix . Flax seeds have nutty flavour and taste great.

Also I take Walnuts 6-8 halves or sometimes chia seeds overnight soaked - either sprinkle in your salad or tomato soup...

I also take 15 -20 pistachio 's for my nutrients need.... Now since my blood sugar is under control, I may add few almonds or peanuts going forward to get vitamin e...

Now there is a test Omega 3 index which measures EPA/ DHA ...with this diet as mentioned above , one can check ones EPA DHA level... In all probability it would come normal ..I have seen EPA/ DHA reports of people using plant omega 3...

And if required , you can take algae oil supplement which has EPA / DHA ...all those fish eat is Algae green from sea and give us that EPA / DHA along with those deadly pollutants / contaminants...

So can we cut the middle man and straightly go for epa dha from algae oil....???

Yes now it is available in India ..

But the supplement is comparatively new and not many research papers are available, though Spirulina has a lot of Research papers.

DRH-sangli profile image
DRH-sangliStar in reply to namaha

@ Namaha..Very good insight and information.Thanks

soni1 profile image
soni1 in reply to namaha

are you still able to manage without medicine namaha?

namaha profile image
namahaAdministrator in reply to soni1

It is more predictable ......meaning I can get my blood sugar readings as I want to.. I keep changing my diet little bit here and there....within plant based whole food diet .....hence I don't check blood sugar often ... .incidentally , I just checked two days back on 28th April both fasting & PP which came to 102/101...previous night heavy dinner I had taken ......and PP after heavy breakfast....I continue to take 1 tablet in the morning..only one lone drug....not combo!

My endo says , he would like to see HBA1c along with lipid profile, LFT, KFT for 3-4 quarters consistently before any change / stopping current medication.

The short answer is yes, because they can disrupt the use of the animal forms of omega-3 that don't require synthesis. Our body's guts are such that we need to eat close to what our body requires directly.

We've been scared away from the very fats that our body needs. The body can make them, it wants them so badly (2/3 of energy usage), but it's much better to eat them in their natural form and stress the body less. The ideal ratio is the same as the body's fat itself; 3:2 monounsaturated to saturated, with the small amounts of integral/incidental EFAs sufficient.

God bless you.

Although we need omega-3 in the diet, the incidental amounts we get from meat fats and whole-fat dairy are enough. One portion of oily fish per week is recommended, but there is no need to supplement. Most of our fat (and energy source) should be monounsaturated, with saturated fat to a little less extent (3:2).

Things we have to consider is how the oils are disrupted during processing for instance. It's always better to eat the whole-food as God intended. We don't need much omega 3, even though it is essential. The reason is to prevent it going rancid in the body, and I imagine that may be going on with the supplements.

The lesson to learn is that natural fats have been wrongly maligned for decades, and consequently our view of what a healthy diet is has been radically skewed. Most of our energy is derived from fat, and it is better to eat that fat than to eat foods that stimulate too much insulin that not only initiates the storage of energy (which in excess is where the harmful lipids come from) but also has a sibling hormone, IGF-1 that promotes growth, leaving people susceptible to cancer for instance.

Thank you for this.

God bless you.

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