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For most people, omega-3 fish oil supplements are a waste of money: study

For most people, omega-3 fish oil supplements are a waste of money: study
From Global News - March 14, 2017

Millions of people take omega-3 fish oil supplements to better their health but a new advisory is warning: Unless youre recovering from a heart attack or grappling with heart failure, these supplements are a waste of money.

In a new advisory out of the American Heart Association, scientists suggest that there isnt enough scientific evidence that fish oil supplements are worthwhile for the general public.

People in the general population who are taking omega-3 fish oil supplements are taking them in the absence of scientific data that shows any benefit of the supplements in preventing heart attacks, stroke, heart failure or death for people who do not have a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, Dr. David Siscovick, who led the writing of the new advisory, said in an AHA statement.

READ MORE: Fish oil helps to slow, prevent damage after a heart attack

Siscovick and the advisory group came to this conclusion after reviewing several clinical trials that look at whether fish oil supplements help prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and heart rhythm disorders.

They combed over 15 studies dating back to 2002 when the AHA last issued a statement on fish and omega-3 supplements.

READ MORE: Why you should eat healthy fats, ditch bad fats to protect your heart

Whats changed since 2002? Turns out, the research community uncovered a link between fish oil supplements and better outcomes for heart failure patients. A large study points to a low dose of the supplement reducing both death and hospitalization by about nine per cent in people with heart failure.

Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart cant adequately pump blood.

The updated advisory also suggests that heart attack survivors can even benefit from omega-3s, but that was already offered up in 2002 while more studies have backed that finding up in recent years.

READ MORE: Healthy fats you should be eating more of

While the researchers couldnt find any benefit for staving off heart disease in healthy patients, they admit they didnt look into whether eating fish helped. (Fish consumption has been tied to better heart and brain health.)

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