Fish oil sup­ple­ments don’t ward off heart dis­ease, study shows

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Diet Parenting -

FISH oil sup­ple­ments do not help pre­vent heart at­tacks or strokes in peo­ple with di­a­betes, said a study Mon­day that adds to a grow­ing body of re­search on the in­ef­fec­tive­ness of pills con­tain­ing omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil sup­ple­ments do not help pre­vent heart at­tacks or strokes in peo­ple with di­a­betes, said a study Mon­day that adds to a grow­ing body of re­search on the in­ef­fec­tive­ness of pills con­tain­ing omega-3 fatty acids. More than 15,000 peo­ple with di­a­betes but no signs of heart dis­ease en­rolled in the study in Bri­tain, the re­sults of which were pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine.

Half the par­tic­i­pants were given a daily cap­sule of omega-3, while the other half re­ceived a placebo pill con­tain­ing olive oil. The study was ran­domised and blinded, mean­ing that par­tic­i­pants had no idea which they were tak­ing. Pa­tients were fol­lowed for an av­er­age of just over seven years. Among those tak­ing fish oil pills, 8.9 per cent suf­fered a heart at­tack or stroke, com­pared to 9.2 per­cent in the placebo group, which was not a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence.

“Our large, long-term ran­domised trial shows that fish oil sup­ple­ments do not re­duce the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar events in pa­tients with di­a­betes,” said prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor Louise Bow­man of the Univer­sity of Oxford. “This is a dis­ap­point­ing find­ing, but it is in line with pre­vi­ous ran­domised tri­als in other types of pa­tient at in­creased risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar events which also showed no ben­e­fit of fish oil sup­ple­ments.” Bow­man con­cluded: “There is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for rec­om­mend­ing fish oil sup­ple­ments to pro­tect against car­dio­vas­cu­lar events.”

In Jan­uary, an anal­y­sis of 10 stud­ies in­volv­ing 78,000 peo­ple pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (JAMA) Car­di­ol­ogy also con­cluded that fish oil pills did not pre­vent heart dis­ease among peo­ple at high risk. Some ob­ser­va­tional stud­ies have pointed to an as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween higher con­sump­tion of fish and lower risks of coro­nary artery dis­ease and stroke, but more rig­or­ous, ran­domised tri­als have not sup­ported this link.

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