MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Anil Nigam MD MSc FRCPC
Director, Research Program in Preventive Cardiology at ÉPIC Centre
Montreal Heart Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine at Université de Montréal
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Nigam: The main finding is that high-dose fish oil rich in marine omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce recurrence of atrial fibrillation in individuals with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation not receiving conventional anti-arrhythmic therapy.
Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?
Dr. Nigam: Unlike other studies on the subject, in addition to studying whether fish oil could reduce AF recurrence, we also evaluated whether fish oil could reduce systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. This was the mechanistic component of the study. Fish oil had no effect on either inflammatory or oxidative stress biomarkers which might help explain why fish oil had no impact on the primary outcome.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Nigam: In our opinion, fish oil has no role for preventing atrial fibrillation recurrence.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Nigam: It is unclear whether a more balanced dietary approach rich in naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as a Mediterranean diet in combination with a reduction in bad macronutrients including bad fats (saturated, n-6 fatty acids, trans fats), red meat, and excess sugar could prevent the occurrence or recurrence of atrial fibrillation in a prospective manner. Such studies are now warranted.