Fish oils two-edged sword for heart patients

January 15th, 2008 - 1:29 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Jan 15 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Toronto have revealed that fish oils may be beneficial to some heart patients but can have a negative impact on others.

The team of researchers including Dr. David Jenkins and Dr. Paul Dorian while reviewing trials of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators found that using fish oil supplements may help some cardiac patients but may prove vulnerable for others.

Fish oils can have complex and varied effects on the heart. These effects include blocking cardiac ion channels, reducing fibrosis in response to mechanical stress, decreasing blood coagulation, and possibly altering immune function, said Jenkins.

They reviewed the evidence from multiple large-scale population (epidemiologic) studies and randomized controlled trials that intake of recommended amounts of DHA and EPA in the form of dietary fish or fish oil supplements can reduce the risk of death, heart attack and dangerous abnormal heart rhythms in people with known cardiovascular disease, as well as potentially slow hardening of the arteries and lower blood pressure slightly.

However, the evidence showed that high doses could have harmful effects, such as an increased risk of bleeding.

Fish oils have promise as beneficial in cardiovascular disease but our work highlights our gaps in understanding and the need for more research, added Dorian.

The review appears in the January 15 edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (ANI)

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