A new study from the Netherlands has found that diabetics who consume foodstuffs such as margarine that contains the fatty acid n-3 could lower the number of ventricular arrhythmia-related events they experience.
The secondary prevention research, which examined the potential of n-3 fatty acid supplementation in lowering the risk of second heart attacks in elderly males and was published in Diabetes Care, showed that people with diabetes who ate the margarine with n-3 saw an 84 per cent reduction in such events after a heart attack, as compared to those who took a placebo. It also revealed the fatty acids offered some protection against heart attack and sudden death.
The ALPHA-OMEGA trial involved nearly 5,000 men between the ages 60 and 80 that had survived myocardial infarctio, with the secondary assessment being limited to a subset of just over 1,000 patients thought to be at high risk because of their diabetes.
Almost three quarters of the participants had been diagnosed with diabetes due to high blood glucose levels, physician-diagnosed self-report and drug treatment. After factors such as age, sex and smoking were taken into account, a consumption of n-3 fatty acids was found to significantly reduce ventricular arrhythmia-related events, and also help lower other cardiovascular events.
The report argued that the findings “support an important role for n-3 fatty acids in the etiology of diabetes, a major risk factor of fatal MI.”

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