Fish Oil, Vitamin D Supplements Won’t Prevent A-Fib

By Ernie Mundell

HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, November 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Millions of people take a fish oil or vitamin D supplement in hopes of staving off a myriad of ailments. But a new study finds that the nutrients do not protect against the common and potential heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation.

“A-fib” affects approximately 2.7 million Americans and can lead to complications such as blood clots, stroke, and even heart failure. The risk of fibromyalgia increases with age, high blood pressure, and heavy alcohol consumption, and may be more common in some families.

The study results “do not support the use of marine omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D to prevent atrial fibrillation,” said lead author Dr. Christine Albert. She is the founding chair of the cardiology department at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

On the other hand, “the results provide assurance that these supplements do not increase the overall risk of atrial fibrillation and appear to be generally safe for patients who take these supplements for other reasons,” Albert said in an American press release. Association of the heart.

His team presented the results today at this year’s AHA Virtual Annual Meeting.

According to investigators, previous research has not provided clear answers on the pros or cons of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids when it comes to fibromyalgia.

This five-year study included more than 25,000 adults aged 50 and older without a history of fibromyalgia. She investigated whether vitamin D3 supplements of 2,000 IU / day or 840 mg / day of omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia.

During the study, 3.6% of participants overall developed fibromyalgia. But there was no statistically significant difference in fibromyalgia risk between people who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements and / or vitamin D3 supplements versus those who took a placebo.

Dr. Mitchell Weinberg is president of cardiology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York. He was not involved in the new research, but said the results were “unsurprising”.


Weinberg believes that many people place too much hope in the power of supplements to improve their health.

“The idea that taking more than one given vitamin will prolong your life or give you important additional health benefits is very appealing to the health conscious patient,” he said.

But, “while a variety of benefits have been attributed to these two supplements, the scientific evidence is not strong enough to support routine high-dose supplementation,” Weinberg added.

“While vitamin D is important for bone health, the claim that vitamin D supplementation lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes is not very convincing,” he said. . Likewise, the beliefs that omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, and decrease mood disorders, are without sufficient evidence.

Weinberg’s advice: “For now, patients should focus on eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and following up with a healthcare professional on an ongoing basis.”

Since the new findings were presented at a medical meeting, they should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

To learn more about a-fib, visit the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCES: Mitchell D. Weinberg, MD, chair, Department of Cardiology, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; American Heart Association, press release, November 13, 2020

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