New study casts doubt over omega-3 health claims12 September 2012
Fish oil-based omega-3 supplements may not offer heart health benefits, according to a new study.
The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found no evidence to support claims made in previous clinical trials that omega-3 supplements reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.
In the most recent study, lead author Dr Evangelos Rizos and his colleagues at the University of Ioannina, Greece examined data from 20 studies into omega-3 featuring 70,000 adult participants. Statistical analysis of the data revealed no significant reduction of heart attacks, strokes or sudden death in subjects who regularly take omega-3 supplements.
“In conclusion, omega-3 Pufas are not statistically significantly associated with major cardiovascular outcomes across various patient populations,” wrote Rizos.
"Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice, or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 Pufa administration."
In 2010, the global omega-3 supplements industry was worth $13 billion according to research firm Packaged Facts. The US accounted for $4 billion of sales.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, online September 11, 2012.
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