Saturday, August 18, 2018 | ePaper

Fish oil supplements have no heart health benefit

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Life Desk :
A new study have squashed claims that eating fish oil supplements contribute in keeping the heart healthy. Cochrane researchers after looking at trials of 112,059 people concluded that "increasing long-chain omega 3 provides little if any benefit on most outcomes". It was also inferred that consuming more long-chain 3 fats makes "little or no difference" to cardiovascular risks, coronary heart disease events, risks of strokes or even heart irregularities.
Omega-3 is a family of fats and includes ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA docosahexaenoic acid). ALA, found in vegetable oils and seeds and nuts, cannot be made by the body. EPA and DHA, that can be made by the body from ALA, is present in fish oils, oily fish including cod liver oil.
However, when it comes to fish oil supplements, Dr Lee Hooper, from the University of East Anglia and Cochrane lead author, said, "We can be confident in the findings of this review which go against the popular belief that long-chain omega 3 supplements protect the heart. This large systematic review included information from many thousands of people over long periods. Despite all this information, we don't see protective effects."
"The review provides good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 (fish oil, EPA or DHA) supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause. The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega 3 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," he added.
According to a BBC report, Professor Tim Chico, a cardiologist from Sheffield University said, "Such supplements come with a significant cost, so my advice to anyone buying them in the hope that they reduce the risk of heart disease, I'd advise them to spend their money on vegetables instead".

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