The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 206, Issue 2, pp 129–139

Membrane Effects of the n-3 Fish Oil Fatty Acids, which Prevent Fatal Ventricular Arrhythmias



Fish oil fatty acids are known to exert beneficial effects on the heart and vascular systems. We have studied the membrane effects on ion channel conductance by the n-3 fish oil fatty acids that account for these beneficial effects. We have confirmed that these fatty acids prevent fatal cardiac arrhythmias in a reliable dog model of sudden cardiac death. This finding was followed by experiments indicating that the n-3 fatty acids electrically stabilize heart cells and do so largely through modulation of the fast voltage-dependent Na+ currents and the L-type Ca2+ channels in a manner, which makes the heart cells resistant to arrhythmias. Others and we have demonstrated that these membrane effects on the heart can prevent fatal cardiac arrhythmias in humans.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineHarvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General HospitalCharlestownUSA
  2. 2.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physiology and Cell BiologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Medtronic Inc.MinneapolisUSA

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