By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) – For people hoping to prevent the arrhythmia known as “a-fib,” new research shows that taking vitamin D or fish oil supplements won’t help.
A-fib, also known as atrial fibrillation, affects more than 33 million people worldwide and is the most common type of arrhythmia. It can cause symptoms that affect a person’s quality of life, lead to blood clots that can cause a stroke, and also lead to heart failure.
For the study, the researchers looked at whether taking vitamin D supplements or omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can affect different types of A-fib, and whether some patients are more likely to benefit or be harmed by the supplements.
According to the lead author Dr. Christine Albert and her colleagues were largely consistent across the different types of A-Fib and patient groups. Albert is chairman of the cardiology department at the Smidt Heart Institute in Los Angeles.
The study, published March 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, follows a presentation by Albert at a conference held by the American Heart Association last year.
“Our recommendation remains the same,” she said in a press release from JAMA Network. “We don’t support the use of fish oil or vitamin D supplements to prevent atrial fibrillation.”
“Unlike other recent studies that found an increased risk of atrial fibrillation with higher-dose omega-3 fatty acid supplements, our study did not find a significantly increased risk of atrial fibrillation with one gram of fish oil per day, which is good news for people who are taking low-dose fish oil for other health conditions, “said Albert.
Her team also found that vitamin D supplements in 2,000 international units per day did not increase A-fib risk.
The United States Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood is more concerned with atrial fibrillation.
SOURCE: JAMA Network, press release, March 16, 2021