BERLIN, GERMANY. Dr. Emanuel Severus of the Berlin University points out that major depression is characterized by a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids and that these acids possess powerful antiarrhythmic properties. He suggests that the missing link in the recently established association between major depression and sudden cardiac death may be the omega-3 fatty acid deficiency which characterizes both conditions.
Severus, W. Emanuel, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids: the missing link? Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 56, April 1999, pp. 380-81 (letter to the editor)
NORWOOD, MASSACHUSETTS. Dr. U.N. Das, MD of EFA Sciences LLC provides a fascinating overview of the many benefits of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the main components of fish oils. Dr. Das points out that an excess of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) is involved in not only coronary heart disease, but also in many inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and septic shock.
AARHUS, DENMARK. There is impressive evidence that fish oils (eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) can materially reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death (cardiac arrest). Researchers at the University of Washington found that men and women who consumed fatty fish just once a week reduced their risk of cardiac arrest by 50%. They believe that fatty fish consumption increases the levels of EPA and DHA in the membranes of red blood cells, which in turn, reduces platelet aggregation and the risk of fatal ventricular arrhythmias. Other researchers have confirmed the protective effect of fish oils against ventricular fibrillation, but very few, if any, studies have investigated the association between fish/fish oil intake and the development of atrial fibrillation.