In the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a new study casts serious doubt on the benefit of taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements for heart health. The study found that after 5 years of taking the omega-3 supplements daily, there was no reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke or death, compared to those who took the olive oil-filled placebo pill.
The participants in this new study did not have a previous history of MI (myocardial infarction or heart attack) or heart failure – and this was a feature that was different than two previous clinical trials.
Earlier studies had found that omega-3 supplementation was useful in patients who had survived a heart attack, or who had heart failure, reducing overall mortality and the chance of hospital admission. In those studies, the omega-3 supplements seemed to reduce the chance for lethal arrhythmias, which were rare events in the current study of healthier people.
Bottom line: Unless you have known heart disease (heart failure or previous MI), there is no need to buy or take omega-3 supplements, since there’s no proven benefit for your heart.
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