Fish oil supplements are beautiful to look at, like a golden gemstone. Beyond that, there’s a growing opinion that they probably don’t improve life, and they don’t improve heart health.
It also offers no protection against cancer.
However, it’s important to eat fish oil (especially omega-3s) for its heart-healthy benefits. oily Fishing 2-3 times a week is a completely different matter.
If the salmon fillet is a little too heavy, try canned sardines or anchovies. See Heart Foundation advice here.
But wait… what?
Haven’t you been told for years that fish oil supplements are good for your brain and heart? is not it?
Yes, it’s mostly due to the seller.
However, the scientific evidence is mixed. And recent studies are becoming increasingly skeptical.
This shift began about five years ago with a number of large analyzes of randomized controlled clinical trials that found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements did not significantly prevent premature death or affect heart health.
This is still inconclusive. It is more than debated among scientists.
If you find this confusing, your doctor will be confused as well.
What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Small amounts of omega-3 fats are essential for good health. Omega-3 fats are involved in many cellular functions, including maintaining the fluidity and structure of cell membranes.
It also regulates the nervous system, blood pressure, blood clotting, glucose tolerance, and inflammatory processes, and may be helpful in all inflammatory conditions.
Omega-3 fats are found in the foods we eat.
The main types of omega-3 fatty acids are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is usually found in the fats of plant foods such as nuts and seeds. Walnuts and rapeseed are abundant sources.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), collectively known as long-chain omega-3 fats, are found naturally in fatty fish such as salmon and fish oils such as cod liver oil.
In 2021, cardiologist Alison Kelly Hedgepes, PhD, contributed to Harvard Medical School’s Publishing Division. She described her problem as follows.
“My patients often ask me if I should try one supplement or another. I am wondering if I should
Her article is worth reading because it discusses two major studies that give conflicting advice.
She has advised her to get her omega-3s primarily through her diet, but continues to prescribe a specific brand of fish oil sold under the brand name Vasepa, which is high in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
She made this decision based on the results of a so-called REDUCE-IT exam published in 2019.
In 2020, the US Federal Drug Administration approved Vascepa for use to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in certain patients with CVD or at high risk for CVD.
But then the 2020 STRENGTH trial went live. It found that doses of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA were not as effective as the corn syrup placebo.
Worse, “abnormal heart rhythms, known as atrial fibrillation, occur more frequently in drug-taking[study]participants, as in other previous studies evaluating similar drugs.” did.”
Dr. Kelly Hedgepes continues to recommend “pure EPA supplements, or supplements with more EPA than DHA.”
But she also advises patients to “eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, and pursue other lifestyle changes proven to be beneficial for cardiovascular health.” I’m here.
In the meantime, she writes, “my colleagues and I await more definitive data on the benefits of omega-3 fish oil and who will benefit most.”
1 month later
A month after Dr. Kelly Hedgepes published her paper, something exploded.
The European Society of Cardiology recommends that omega-3 fatty acids supplement It was associated with an increased likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib) in people at high risk for, or preexisting, heart disease. (Read: High triglycerides.)
Previous clinical trials suggested this may be the case.
Study author Dr. Salvatore Carbone of Virginia Commonwealth University said:
“Our study suggests that fish oil supplementation is associated with a significantly increased risk of atrial fibrillation in patients at high cardiovascular risk.”
He said the risk of atrial fibrillation should be considered when prescribing or buying such drugs over-the-counter. This was especially important “for those who are prone to developing heart rhythm disorders.”
Most pills are of poor quality anyway
In a new study, researchers at the University of Texas looked at the amounts of the active compounds EPA and DHA in 255 fish oil supplements.
Only 24 of the supplements (about 1 in 10) contained more than 2 grams of EPA+DHA per day. This is the recommended level for lowering cholesterol.
The researchers suggest that tightening regulation of the supplement industry “could help address these inappropriate practices.”