[Fish, fish oils, arrhythmias and sudden death].Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1998 Jun 10; 118(15):2328-31.TN
Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is relatively low in individuals with a high consumption of fish oils containing omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid). This has been mainly attributed to the anti atherogenic and anti thrombotic effects of these oils. However, recent evidence suggests that fish and fish oils may also prevent malignant ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Several animal experiments have shown that fish oils can reduce the incidence of ischaemia induced ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation. Observational studies in humans have shown that there is a connection between the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and a lower risk of sudden cardiac death. Some trials suggest that fish oils can prevent ventricular arrhythmias in humans. It is possible that the effect of fish oils on arrhythmias is independent of their anti atherogenic and anti thrombotic activities. There is also some evidence that these oils affect ion fluxes in cardiomyocytes.