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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Health

Sep 18th, 2012
Staff Writer

Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fish.Supplements of every sort claim the shelves of grocery stores and nutrition marts as space for nutritional secrets. Can the assertions of the bottle be trusted? What authority can really distinguish between healthy fact and fiction?

In a study published September 12th, 2012, researchers from the University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece investigated the connection between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found and commonly derived from fish oil) and cardiovascular health.

The researchers, led by Dr. Evangelos Rizos, investigated 20 previously completed studies including over 68,000 patients surveyed in all.

“Treatment with marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for the prevention of major cardiovascular adverse outcomes has been supported by a number of randomized clinical trials and refuted by others,” Dr. Rizos explained in a message.

What his team of researchers found was that there was no significant correlation between cardiovascular health and omega-3 supplements. Subjects ingesting the fish oil were no less likely to fall victim to cardiac arrest, heart attack or stroke (than persons not consuming the supplement).

“Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting [their] administration,” Rizos said. The research questions the claims of a global omega-3 market worth $13 billion, according to the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS). Even with a highly regulated food market, companies maintain the freedom to assert whatever they chose. With studies like these, what choices will the consumer make?