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Prevention of cardiac arrhythmia by dietary (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids and their mechanism of action.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of nutrition
Publication Date
Volume
127
Issue
3
Pages
383–393
Identifiers
PMID: 9082021
Source
Medline

Abstract

The role of marine fish oil (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention of fatal ventricular arrhythmia has been established in experimental animals. Prevention of arrhythmias arising at the onset of ischemia and reperfusion is important because if untreated, they result in sudden cardiac death. Animals supplemented with fish oils in their diet developed little or no ventricular fibrillation after ischemia was induced. Similar effects have also been observed in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. Several mechanisms have been proposed and studied to explain the antiarrhythmic effects of fish oil polyunsaturated fatty acids, but to date, no definite mechanism has been validated. The sequence of action of these mechanisms and whether more than one mechanism is involved is also not clear. Some of the mechanisms suggested to explain the antiarrhythmic action of fish oils include the incorporation and modification of cell membrane structure by (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, their direct effect on calcium channels and cardiomyocytes and their role in eicosanoid metabolism. Other mechanisms that are currently being investigated include the role of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell signalling mediated through phosphoinositides and their effect on various enzymes and receptors. This article reviews these mechanisms and the antiarrhythmic studies using (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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