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Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation: Mechanism and Current Evidence in Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent arrhythmia and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Available pharmacologic antiarrhythmic therapies are often ineffective in preventing the recurrence of AF, possibly because these drugs target a single pathophysiological mechanism. More effective treatments are needed. In this review, we explore the antiarrhythmic potential of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs). A number of plausible mechanisms have been proposed to explain the antiarrhythmic effects attributed to fish oils: structural, metabolic, autonomic, and electrophysiologic. Unfortunately positive results observed in experimental models, were not always found for the primary and secondary prevention of AF. More mechanistic studies are needed to clarify the actual role of n-3 PUFAs supplementation in AF.

Credits: Savina Nodari MD; Marco Triggiani MD; Umberto Campia MD; Livio Dei Cas MD

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