Omega-3 supplements may not reduce risk of heart diseases

 04 Feb 2018 - 14:10

Omega-3 supplements may not reduce risk of heart diseases
Image used for representations.


London: A recent British study has suggested that a diet or dietary supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids might not be able to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, as was previously believed. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is generally advised for people who are at risk of developing heart diseases, like those with obesity as well as a family history of heart ailments. 

Previous research has linked omega-3s to a lower risk of abnormal heartbeats, less fats in the blood, reduced risk of artery-clogging deposits known as plaque, and slightly lower blood pressure.

The study resulted from analysis of data from 10 trials that were conducted with the participation of 77,917 people. All the participants were people who either had had a heart attack or stroke in the past or had health problems like diabetes. The researchers randomly assigned some of the participants to take omega-3 supplements and some of them to take dummy pills for supplements to create a placebo. The trial was conducted over the period of a year.

Overall, participants were 64 years old on average when they joined the trials, and they were followed for an average of 4.4 years. During follow-up, 2,695 people (3.5 percent) died from heart disease, while 2,276 (2.9 percent) had nonfatal heart attacks, 1,713 (2.2 percent) had strokes and 6,603 (8.5 percent) had procedures to reopen clogged arteries.

"The results demonstrated no beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for prevention of cardiovascular disease, overall, or on any subtype of cardiovascular disease, or on cardiovascular disease in any subgroup of the population," said senior study author Dr. Robert Clarke, a public health researcher at the University of Oxford in the UK.

"Thus, the results provide no support for the current guidelines of the American Heart Association that advocate that patients with prior coronary heart disease take omega-3 fatty acid supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease," Clarke added. 

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