Benefits of fish oil supplements may be overstated

January 16, 2008 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Benefits of fish oil supplements may be overstated
Omega-3 fats from oily fish are known for protecting against heart disease.  But taking supplements of fish oil can increase risk of bleeding, especially at high doses.

According to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, two out of three large studies looking at the heart health benefits of fish oil found that taking the supplements either had not effect on heart patients, or left them worse off.

In this analysis, no evidence suggested that fish oil alone prevents heart disease.

Heart patients already taking heart medication (i.e. beta blockers) seem to get some benefit from taking fish oil supplements.

Effects on joint pain, Alzheimer's disease, depression or other conditions that have been associated fish oil supplements were not looked at in this study.

Previous research has suggested that eating oily fish - salmon, tuna, sardines, artic char, sea bass, mackerel - is more beneficial than taking supplements of fish oil.

From this study, the bottom line is that large trials are needed to determine exactly what effect fish oil supplements have on heart patients.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.