SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news

 

 

Fish oil supplements show heart rate benefits: Meta-analysis

By Stephen DANIELLS , 29-Mar-2013
Last updated on 29-Mar-2013 at 14:05 GMT2013-03-29T14:05:00Z

Fish oil supplements show heart rate benefits: Meta-analysis

The heart health benefits of omega-3-rich fish oil may be linked to its ability to favorably influence the variability in heart rates, says a meta-analysis of 15 studies.

The heart health benefits of fish oil, and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements, and improved vascular function.

Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain fish oil’s cardioprotective effect, with improvements in heart rate listed among these, according to the scientists behind the new meta-analysis.

While individual studies have been contradictory, pooling the data, as the scientists did for this new meta-analysis, appears to support the proposal that “enhancement of vagal tone may be an important mechanism underlying the antiarrhythmic and other clinical effects of fish oil”.

Scientists from the Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing and the Medical College of Nankai University in Tianjin report their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .

Positive steps forward

The research was welcomed by Harry Rice, PhD, VP of regulatory & scientific affairs for the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED).

“Despite the widespread knowledge about the cardiovascular benefits associated with Omega-3s, EPA and DHA, their mechanism(s) of action remain elusive,” he told us.

“This meta-analysis provides further insight into the benefits of omega-3s on heart rate, but it leaves many questions unanswered. In science, many times it's two steps forward, one step back. The net-net is positive!”   

Meta-analysis details

The Chinese scientists pooled data from 15 randomized controlled trials of fish oil on heart rate variability.

The results showed that heart rate variability was significantly improved following fish oil supplementation.

“The exact mechanisms by which fish oil (EPA and/or DHA) can affect the heart rate variability indexes and vagal function are currently unknown,” wrote the researchers.

“However, it has been indicated that fish oil (especially DHA) is abundant in nerve tissues and may play an important role in the maintenance of normal neurologic function. Furthermore, fish oil seemed to be helpful in the treatment of some neural degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease.

“Future studies are needed to determine whether fish oil can directly influence nerve function in addition to its direct effect on cardiac electrophysiology.”

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online March 20, 2013. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.049833
“Short-term effects of fish-oil supplementation on heart rate variability in humans: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”
Authors: W. Xin, W. Wei, X-Y. Li

Related products

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Fytexia
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Indena
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Capsugel
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Ingredion
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
NSF-International
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Roquette
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars