Fish Oil CAUSES A-Fib? (Don’t Take the Bait!)

You’ve undoubtedly seen the recent “shocking” fish-oil news by now.

The disturbing headlines claiming fish oil supplements cause atrial fibrillation (A-fib) or heart disease have been plastered practically everywhere you look.

I’ve written about the heart BENEFITS of these supplements many times before, and now, some study has come along and concluded, “Oh, by the way, they might be giving you an irregular heartbeat.”

Talk about confusing.

But before you chuck your fish oil bottle in the trash, let’s take a closer look at this study and what it REALLY means.

First, it’s an observational study, meaning the researchers just asked a bunch of people what they eat and what supplements they take and then sat back and watched for a decade.

Imagine all the issues that can crop up with that approach.

To start, people’s memories are unreliable and habits change. There’s no way to know whether those taking a supplement were consistent the entire time or the quality or dosage of those supplements. We don’t even know for sure if some folks who weren’t taking them started.

And since no actual blood levels were measured, we have no solid data.

Now, to be clear, some studies already suggest that going overboard on fish oil can lead to some funky heart rhythms. Which makes sense, of course.

But here’s the thing… the A-fib risk isn’t earth-shattering. We’re not talking about everyone who takes fish oil suddenly having their hearts go haywire. It’s a relatively small risk.

Here’s the real kicker: even if someone in the study did end up with an irregular heartbeat, their overall risk of dying is still DECREASED.

Let that sink in for a moment.

They might have had a little extra flutter in their chest, but they were still less likely to die than those who weren’t taking fish oil.

So, while it’s not a situation you want to be in, it’s a heck of a lot different than the picture those sensationalized headlines painted.

So, should you toss your fish oil supplements in the garbage and never look back? Absolutely not!

The benefits of fish oil supplements still far outweigh any potential risks. This was one observational study. The overwhelming majority of clinical evidence finds fish oil beneficial.

The key here is moderation. Don’t go popping fish oil supplements like they’re candy.

Buy a high-quality brand you can trust, keep them in a cool, dark place (consider refrigerating them unless their label instructions say different), stick to the recommended dosage, and, of course, check with your doctor to be sure they’re right for you.

Don’t let misleading headlines reel you in and scare you away from something that could be doing your heart and brain a world of good!

P.S. “SKIP” atrial fibrillation with these three heart hacks.

Source:

Chen G, Qian Z, Zhang J, et al., Regular use of fish oil supplements and course of cardiovascular diseases: prospective cohort study, BMJ Medicine 2024;3:e000451.

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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