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Researchers challenge fish oil supplements’ heart health benefit

Researchers challenge fish oil supplements’ heart health benefit

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Researchers say there is little or no effect of omega 3 supplements on our risk of experiencing heart disease, stroke or death.

A new systematic review by Cochrane, an independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers
and people interested in health, combines the results of seventy-nine randomized trials involving
112,059 people.

These studies assessed effects of consuming additional omega III fat, compared with usual or lower omega III,
on diseases of the heart and circulation.

Omega III is a type of fat.

Small amounts of omega III fats are essential for good health, and they can be found in the food that we eat.

The main types of omega III fatty acids include alpha­linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA),
and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

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EPA and DHA, collectively called long chain omega III fats, are naturally found in fatty fish, such as salmon
and fish oils including cod liver oil.

Researchers found that long-chain omega III fats had little or no meaningful effect on the risk of death from
any cause.

Taking more long-chain omega III fats, including EPA and DHA, primarily through supplements probably makes
little or no difference to risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart
disease events, stroke or heart irregularities.

“The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega III fats on
cardiovascular health.

On the other hand, while oily fish is a healthy food, it is unclear from the small number of trials whether
eating more oily fish is protective of our hearts,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Lee Hooper
from the University of East Anglia, UK.


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