OMEGA-3 fatty acids, believed to improve heart health, were found to have no effect on reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death.
The study, which enrolled nearly 70,000 patients in a hospital in Greece who were given omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements, was published in the September 12th issue of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
The researchers said that patients at Ioannina University Medical Center did not show a statistically significant reduction in death or heart disease, and asked if omega-3 should be administered proactively when trying to optimize a patient’s heart health.
“Our results do not justify the use of omega-3s as a structured intervention in daily clinical practice or as guidelines to support omega-3s in diet,” said Evangelos Rizos, lead author of the study.
After examining 20 studies involving a total of 68,680 randomized patients, the researchers said there were 7044 deaths, 3993 cardiac deaths, 1150 sudden deaths, 1837 heart attacks and 1490 strokes.
Analysis of these numbers found no “statistically significant” association with all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, and stroke when all adjunct studies were included.
Health professionals, supported by a number of clinical studies, have for years touted the health benefits of omega-3s, but the authors found that other studies failed to substantiate these health claims.
The report in JAMA found that some national regulators in Europe have approved the administration of omega-3 supplements to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
According to the report, it is possible that studies showing some heart health benefits from ingesting omega-3 fatty acids “may be due to their ability to lower triglycerides, prevent serious arrhythmias, or even platelet aggregation and the.” Lower blood pressure “.
Researchers concluded that more research is needed, including “a meta-analysis of individual patient data … to refine possible associations related to dose, compliance, baseline intake, and risk group for cardiovascular disease, among other things.”