Fish and Arrhythmias

July 22, 2004

Researchers have found that the way you cook your fish can save your life. Eating fish that was baked or broiled decreased the risk of suffering atrial fibrillation, a potentially deadly irregular heart rhythm. The subjects ate broiled or baked fish from one to four times a week. Eating fried fish or fish burger sandwiches didn't provide the same protection. Atrial fibrillation affects about 2.2 million Americans. In atrial fibrillation the two small upper chambers of the heart do not pump regularly, instead they quiver. Blood isn't completely pumped out of them and instead it can pool and form a blood clot in the heart. A piece of the blood clot can break away and can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. About 15% of all strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation. The study is published in the July 20th issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish is a gift to good health. For information on healthy selection of fish, and to decrease your exposure to mercury and other toxins contaminating many aquatic species, see our June 25th Radio Studies. Fresh, high quality fish oil capsules are a viable choice for brain, circulatory, and heart protection. Studies show that fish oil capsules help decrease pressure on the heart, may help slow it down one beat per minute, and may stabilize the heart rhythm and decrease the risk of arrhythmias. Research shows that people who have had a heart attack have a decreased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack, and a decreased risk of dying from a future cardiovascular related event by consuming fish oils.

HDL may Protect Women from Alzheimer's Disease

Researchers monitored a subset of elderly women in the ongoing Women's Health Study and have found that having high levels of HDL-cholesterol, the protective and beneficial cholesterol, decreased the risk of memory and cognitive impairment by about 50%. The protective level of HDL was 60 to 75. The study was presented at the current meeting of the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders.

Glucosamine Works Better for Arthritis when used with MSM

Glucosamine is an effective protecting agent in osteoarthritis, MSM is an effective natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. Combining Glucosamine with MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is more effective for osteoarthritis than using either supplement alone. Using either agent alone improved pain and swelling in arthritic joints, but combining the agents was significantly better in reducing pain and swelling and in improving joint function. 118 Patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis were treated with 500mg MSM alone, 500mg Glucosamine alone, a combination of the two, or a placebo, 3 times a day for 12 weeks.

After 12 weeks of treatment the average pain score fell from 1.74 to 0.65 in the Glucosamine group, from 1.53 to 0.74 in the MSM group, however in the MSM-Glucosamine group it fell from 1.7 to 0.36. The combination also worked faster. The combination produced an anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect in osteoarthritis and had better ability to improve walking ability in these individuals. The study is published in the June 2004 issue of Clinical Drug Investigations.