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Too much Omega-3 increases the risk of Atrial Fibrillation

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in Circulation (Gencer et al, 2021) looked at seven RCTs (81,210 patients) that examined the cardiovascular outcomes of marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.

The review found marine omega-3 supplementation was associated over time with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, and that the risk was greater at daily doses of >1g.

Over the past two decades marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has been recommended, for healthy older adults and for cognitively impaired older adults, as being preventive/beneficial in relation to cognitive impairment.

The recommendations were usually for doses higher than 1g/d – so the results of this systematic review and meta-analysis are important for most patients using marine omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.

David Burke, BMed, DMedSc, MCPsychI, FRCPsych, FRANZCP

Clinical Lead and Senior Staff Specialist, Older People’s Mental Health Service

Associate Professor, Discipline of Psychiatry, University of Notre Dame, Sydney

Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Clinical Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College, Dublin

Senior Associate, International Foundation for Integrated Care, Oxford