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A new study looks at the risk of taking omega-3 supplements for people at high risk of heart disease.Getty Images
  • A new study found that taking omega 3 supplements is associated with an increased risk of heart disease or an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in existing people.
  • Experts say the relationship between the use of omega-3 supplements and heart health is complex.
  • Talk to your doctor about your risks and what is best for you.

in front the study We have found strong evidence that omega 3 fatty acids help with heart health. This popular supplement can also pose a significant risk to some people.

according to New analysis According to the European Society of Cardiology, omega 3 fatty acid supplements are associated with an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib) in people with high triglyceride levels.

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.

“Currently, fish oil supplements are indicated for patients with elevated plasma triglycerides to reduce cardiovascular risk,” the study author said. Salvatore Carbon, Virginia Commonwealth University PhD, statement..

“Because of the high prevalence of high triglycerides in the population, they can be commonly prescribed,” he added.

The new analysis examined five randomized controlled trials to investigate the effect of omega 3 fatty acid supplementation on cardiovascular outcomes.

Study participants had high triglyceride levels. They are at high risk for cardiovascular disease or have already been diagnosed with it.

Over 50,000 participants were given fish oil (a source of omega 3) or placebo. Researchers have followed them for up to 7.4 years. The dose of fish oil was between 0.84 and 4 grams per day.

Researchers have found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a significant increase in the risk of AFib compared to placebo.

“Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia, an abnormal cardiac rhythm, characterized by irregular electrical activity in the left atrium, the upper chamber of the heart.” Dr. Michael GoifmanThe Dean of Clinical Cardiology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York told Healthline.

“Some people may feel [heart] Palpitations in the setting of atrial fibrillation, no other symptoms, “he said.

Goyfman added that AFib’s main concern is risk such as stroke. Thromboembolic eventAfter a blood clot forms in the heart, it can break and move to the brain and other organs.

“To reduce this risk, anticoagulants are often prescribed to patients with AFib who are at high risk of stroke,” Goyfman said.

Omega 3 It is an essential fat that the body needs to stay healthy.

by National Institute of Health, Omega-3 is not produced in the body. We need to consume them to maintain a healthy level.

There are three types of omega 3:

  • α-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

The National Institutes of Health emphasizes that omega-3 is an important part of the membrane that surrounds each cell in our body.

DHA levels are especially high in the eyes, brain and sperm cells and play important roles in many physical functions.

Goifman is for healthy people who consume omega-3 as part of their diet, including: Mediterranean diet, “The incidence of cardiovascular events has decreased significantly.”

A 2019 Science Advisory Published in the journal Circulation, 4 grams of prescription omega 3 per day stated that most people can reduce triglyceride levels by 20 to 30 percent.

But how important is it to lower these levels?

“Triglycerides are a type of fat in our body, and their levels are measured by blood tests similar to other fats such as HDL,” good “cholesterol, LDL, and” bad “cholesterol,” Goifman said. Stated.

“There is some association between high triglyceride levels and cardiovascular disease, but no causal link has been established. Currently, we are not using triglyceride levels to calculate the risk of stroke or heart attack. . “

Asked if the benefits of omega 3 supplements for healthy people outweighed their potential risks, Dr. Lawrence M. EpsteinThe system director of electrophysiology at Sandra Atlas Bathhart Hospital in Northwell Health, New York, said it was “unknown.”

“This remains controversial and is the reason why this study was done,” Epstein said. “Some people argue that affecting lipids such as triglycerides can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Others suggest that they can reduce the risk of life-threatening heart rhythm problems. doing.”

Epstein emphasized the importance of telling your doctor what supplements you are taking.

“It is important for the patient to inform the doctor all The supplements they are taking, “he said. “This study suggests that if you have atrial fibrillation, you should probably avoid these supplements.”

REDUCE-IT trial Patients with high triglycerides who took certain prescription-only omega 3 supplements showed a reduced risk of cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular death, “said Goyfman. “That’s why this is a complicated question to address.”

According to Goyfman, AFib can be treated with appropriate medications, procedures, or both. Taking anticoagulants can reduce your risk of stroke.

“Some may argue that the reduction in death outweighs the risk of developing atrial fibrillation,” Goifman said.

“On the other hand, people who don’t belong to the categories that may benefit from omega 3 supplements may be at unnecessary risk of developing atrial fibrillation,” he warned.

Goifman said it’s important to remember that there are different types of omega-3s.

“The REDUCE-IT test uses only EPA, a mixture of EPA and DHA. STRENGTH trial, It showed no benefit, “he said.

“Maybe you’re comparing apples and oranges when different compounds are used?” Goifman said.

Until further research is done on specific types and doses of omega 3, Goifman “does not recommend patients deciding whether to stop or start omega 3 supplementation without consulting a doctor.”

Epstein added that many supplements are under-regulated, often without warnings, and should generally be better regulated.

A new study found that taking omega 3 supplements is associated with an increased risk of heart disease or an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in existing people.

According to experts, omega 3 is essential for health, but the link between the use of these supplements and heart health is complex.

They also say that supplements are generally under-regulated. It is advisable to consult a doctor before including omega 3 supplements in your diet.

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