Heart Beat: Slow down for fish
Slow down for fish
The omega-3 fats found in cold-water fish like salmon and the oils extracted from them protect the heart in several ways. They prevent the heart from lapsing into potentially deadly erratic rhythms, make platelets less sticky and so less likely to form dangerous clots in the bloodstream, and lower blood levels of triglycerides. An analysis of 30 controlled trials of fish oil supplements shows that they may also slow the heart rate a few beats per minute. The report, which appeared in the Sept. 27, 2005, Circulation, lends support to the idea that fish oils influence the heart's underlying electrical system. Higher heart rates are linked with higher risk of sudden death, so slowing the heart rate may be another way that fish oils protect the heart.