More evidence that omega-3 supplements lack heart benefits

A new analysis suggests that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has little or no effect on the risk of death, heart attack, or stroke. While omega 3 supplements appeared to reduce triglyceride levels, they also reduced levels of HDL cholesterol, according to the report in the Cochrane Library journal. Senior author Lee Hooper, a dietitian and researcher at the Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, observes: "The trials are very consistent. The highest quality trials published over several decades consistently show that there is little or no effect on whether we experience heart disease, stroke, or arrhythmia." The study combined data from more than 112,000 patients who participated in 79 smaller randomized trials. Michael Blaha, MD, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease in Baltimore, who was not involved in the analysis, asserts that "the public health recommendation has to be to get [omega-3s] through foods rather than dietary supplements."

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