Fish oil supplements do nothing for healthy heart, research claims
New Delhi : A new study challenges the fact that eating fish oil supplements helps to keep heart healthy. Researchers at Cochrane analysed 112,059 people and concluded that “increasing long-chain omega 3 provides little if any benefit on most outcomes”. They study also mentioned 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 problems.
Fish oil is generally known as the key source of Omega-3 is fats which include ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA docosahexaenoic acid). The ALA in vegetable oils and seeds and nuts, cannot be prepared by the body. However, the EPA and DHA can be made by the body from ALA which is present in oily fish including cod liver oil.
Conversely, 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”.