Thursday, 27 March 2014

Do Fish Oil Pills Really Work?


 
Two recent studies have indicated that fish oil capsules may not confer any benefits to the health-conscious.  Both studies looked at whether supplementing one’s diet with long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids resulted in a reduced rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD).  The studies found no significant protection against such diseases when compared to other types of dietary fat.

Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, a cardiovascular epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, stated that of the range of fats studied, only trans fats showed a clear negative effect on heart health.  Chowdhury co-authored the review published in the March 18th Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Looking at the 17 randomized clinical trials that we combined, the majority of the trials, especially the more recent and large scale ones, showed consistently little or no significant effect on reducing coronary disease events,” Chowdhury said.

Additionally, saturated fats, considered unhealthy, posed no additional risks for heart disease according to Chowdhury.  They carried about the same cardiac risk as unsaturated fats, omega - 3 fatty acids and omega - 6 fatty acids.

The second study, published March 17th in JAMA Internal Medicine came to the same conclusion although the study had originally been reviewing the use of omega – 3s for eye health.  Researchers, however, used the data to examine whether the supplements could also help prevent heart disease.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing the diary supplement industry, released a statement calling the new reports “potentially irresponsible” and reproaching them for causing “nutritional guidance whiplash.”

 

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