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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Study Found Fish Oil Doesn't Prevent Arrhythmia

Ever since scientists found out that Greenland Eskimos, who eat a diet rich in fish, have a low risk of dying from heart attacks, they've been studying the substances in fish oils called omega-3 fatty acids. Some research has shown that omega-3s do actually reduce the risk of heart problems. There's been several small studies that showed that they can also help to slightly, lower the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Scientists have theorized though, that at least part of the reason why omega-3s protect against death from heart attack is that they prevent irregular heart rhythms, or arrhythmia. To test this theory, researchers did a study of omega-3s in people who had recently gone through an episode of arrhythmia that affected the parts of the heart called the ventricles. Every one of the people who participated used an implanted cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, to detect irregular heart rhythms and correct them by delivering a small electric shock. The study was published in the June 15 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, where researchers randomly assigned the 200 people who signed up for the study, to get either 1,800 mg a day of a fish oil supplement or a placebo. The researchers followed up with the participants after 6, 12, and 24 months. What they found was that the fish oil supplements didn't prevent any episodes of arrhythmia and in fact, some of the people had more episodes.

The researchers concluded that omega-3s may not prevent ventricular arrhythmia, and that people with an ICD and repeated episodes of ventricular arrhythmia shouldn't take fish oil supplements. If you have heart rhythm irregularities, talk to your doctor before you try fish oil supplements.

Another thing that you will want to be wary of, is that over-the-counter fish oils may not be pure. The manufacturers will add fillers to the fish oils, so be sure to read the label on the bottles and you should be able to get a prescription from your doctor for a more pure form of the fish oil.

Study Shows No Difference In Knee When Using Glucosamin/Chondrotin

In the 2009 Glucosamine/chondrotin Arthritis Intervention Trial or GAIT, found that people with knee osteoarthritis who took supplements with glucosamine and chondrotin sulfate showed no difference in the loss of  cartilage in their knees than those taking a placebo. In the study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, researchers tracked 572 people with moderate or severe OA in one or both knees.

Those who took part in this study took either glucosamine, chondrotin, glucosamine plus chondrotin, the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib or Celebrex, or placebo for two years. The x-rays of the affected knee joint were examined before and after treatment and the width of the space between the bones in the knee were measured.

A narrower joint space means that the cartilage of the bone ends has worn away, which is a clear sign of OA. The study found no significant difference in joint space narrowing among the groups, but researchers did note that the results were complicated because the joint space narrowing among people taking placebo was much less than expected.

But, overall, the results were inconclusive, like an earlier GAIT result about the supplements being used as a pain reliever.

Sited from January/Feburary 2009 Arthritis Management