A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on selected arrhythmia outcomes in animal models
Epidemiological studies and clinical trials report the beneficial effects of fish or fish oil consumption on cardiovascular disease outcomes including sudden death. We performed a systematic review of the literature on controlled animal studies that assessed the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on selected arrhythmia outcomes. On the basis of predetermined criteria, 27 relevant animal studies were identified; 23 of these were feeding studies, and 4 were infusion studies. Across species, fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid, and/or docosahexaenoic acid appear to have beneficial effects on ventricular tachycardia (VT) and fibrillation (VF) in ischemia- but not reperfusion-induced arrhythmia models; no effect on the incidence of death and infarct size; and inconsistent results with regard to arrhythmia score, VF threshold, ventricular premature beats or length of time in normal sinus rhythm, compared to omega-6, monounsaturated, or saturated fatty acids, and no treatment controls. In a meta-analysis of 13 studies using rat models, fish oil but not alpha-linolenic acid supplementation showed a significant protective effect for ischemia- and reperfusion-induced arrhythmias by reducing the incidence of VT and VF. It is not known whether omega-3 fatty-acid supplementation has antiarrhythmic effects in other disease settings not related to ischemia.
Matthan, N. R., Jordan, H., Chung, M., Lichtenstein, A. H., Lathrop, D. A., & Lau, J. (2005). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on selected arrhythmia outcomes in animal models. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, 54(12), 1557 - 1565. DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2005.05.026