[PHNUTR-L] Fish oil prevents potentially deadly decline in heart
rate variability in elderly
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Fri Dec 16 07:45:16 PST 2005
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Public release date: 15-Dec-2005
Contact: Suzy Martin
smartin at thoracic.org
American Thoracic Society
Fish oil prevents potentially deadly decline in heart rate variability
A two-gram fish oil supplement given daily to elderly persons prevented
a decline in heart rate variability caused by tiny, dangerous airborne
pollutant particles. Heart rate variability, a measure of the autonomic
nervous system's regulation of the heart, is an independent risk factor
for cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack or sudden death.
These findings appeared in the second issue of the December 2005
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by
the American Thoracic Society.
Fernando Holguin, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, and eight associates provided fish oil
supplements to 26 residents of a nursing home in Mexico City. A control
group of 24 residents was given soy oil supplements. The participants'
average age ranged from 81 to 83 years old.
"In this randomized controlled trial, fish oil supplementation prevented
the reduction in heart rate variability associated with the same-day
exposure to indoor particulate matter," said Dr. Holguin. "In contrast,
soy oil, our comparison supplementation of plant-derived polyunsaturated
fatty acids, was associated with a marginal, nonsignificant protection
from the effects of particulate matter on heart rate variability."
"Fish oil as a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids could be
considered as a potential form of preventive measure to reduce the risk
of arrhythmia and sudden death in elderly subjects exposed to ambient
air pollution," said Dr. Holguin.
In the study, the residents were exposed to tiny indoor air pollutant
particles that had a dimension of 2.5 microns or less. All participants
spent 92 percent of their time indoors.
The supplement study was conducted over six months. None of the patients
suffered from cardiac arrhythmias, had a pacemaker or were being treated
with oral anticoagulants.
Participants had their heart rate variability checked between 8 a.m. and
1 p.m. on alternate weekdays. To ensure accurate measurement, the
subjects lay flat on their back five minutes before starting the test.
Each electronic analysis lasted 6 minutes as each participant rested.
Prior to the beginning of the study, all participants had a low intake
of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The authors called for larger studies to confirm their results.
Contact: Fernando Holguin, M.D., 1600 Clifton Road N. E., MSE-17,
Atlanta, GA 30333 Phone: (404) 498-1027 E-mail: fch5 at cdc.gov
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
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