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Mind and Body

Study: Fish Oil Doesn't Help Heart Rhythm Problem

New research shows that taking fish oil capsules does not prevent flare-ups of a common heart rhythm problem as doctors had hoped it would.

It was the first rigorous test of omega-3 capsules for atrial fibrillation, when the heart quivers instead of beating normally. Doctors gave 663 people with this condition either dummy pills or a high-dose prescription version of omega-3 fatty acids — the good fat in oily fish like salmon.

After six months, there was no difference in heart flutter episodes. Doctors say ordinary fish oil supplements that people buy at the store are even less likely to help this condition.

Results were reported Monday at a heart conference in Chicago.