A randomized controlled trial to prevent post-operative atrial fibrillation by antioxidant reinforcement
This study was conducted to assess whether omega-3 fatty acids plus antioxidant vitamins could reduce the incidence of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) in patients who had undergone surgical operation. A total of 203 patients scheduled for cardiac surgery were given a placebo or a supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin C and vitamin E. The results showed that this nutrient combination reduced the occurrence of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) after heart surgery. Moreover, biomarkers for inflammation were significantly reduced in the supplemented group, indicating that the multivitamins had an anti-inflammatory effect. Further details can be found in the study.
An irregular heartbeat or “arrhythmia” is an abnormal heart rhythm, caused by problems with the heart's electrical conduction system. Arrhythmia occurs when the heart beats too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or with a skipping rhythm. Arrhythmias can be caused by a heart attack or other (organic) damage to the heart muscle. The most frequent cause of arrhythmia, however, is a chronic deficiency of micronutrients in the billions of heart muscle cells. If this deficiency comprises the specialized “electrical” heart muscle cells that either generate (e.g. sinus node) or conduct the electrical impulse for the heartbeat, they no longer function properly and arrhythmia occurs.
Rodrigo R, Korantzopoulos P, Cereceda M, Asenjo R, Zamorano J, Villalabeitia E, Baeza C, Aguayo R, Castillo R, Carrasco R, Gormaz JG. A randomized controlled trial to prevent post-operative atrial fibrillation by antioxidant reinforcement. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Oct 15;62(16):1457-65.