Omega-3 Pills May Not Help Your Heart
The tides are turning for fish oil, at least when it comes to usefulness of supplements in staving off heart attacks and stroke.
After a lot of initial excitement over omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines, Greek researchers released the latest study to find the substances won't help you dodge heart disease - whether you get them from supplements or your diet.
Based on a review and analysis of previous clinical trials including more than 68,000 participants, they found omega-3 supplements had no impact on overall death rates, deaths from heart disease, or stroke or heart attacks.
The new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, pools the results of 18 clinical trials that assigned participants randomly to take either omega-3 supplements or not. It also includes two trials in which people got dietary counseling to increase their consumption of omega-3- rich foods.
The average daily dose of omega-3 taken was 1.51 grams per day and included eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
People who eat fish often may be replacing things like steak, hamburgers or quiche, making for a healthier diet overall.
Instead of taking supplements, experts recommended helping your heart by eating fish at least twice a week, having a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables, getting lots of physical activity and not smoking.