While it is true people who Eat seafood regularly They are less likely to die from heart disease, and studies have not shown that taking fish oil as a supplement provides the same benefit. However, fish oil marketers continue to make health claims implying a wide range of benefits, according to a published study. Wed in JAMA Cardiology.
The researchers analyzed labels from more than 2,000 fish oil supplements that contained health claims. They found that more than 80 percent use what is known as “Claim structure and functionClaims for cardiovascular health, which accounted for 62 percent, were the most common.
Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are found naturally in fatty fish such as salmon. higher levels These omega-3s have been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but the monitoring results are based on omega-3 levels in the diet, not from supplement use, some experts say. In fact, two large clinical trials recently conducted showed that over-the-counter fish oil supplements do not improve cardiovascular outcomes.
The ambiguity of formulation used by marketers of fish oil can lead to misleading information about the role of dietary supplements, said Anne-Marie Navarre, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who was a senior author on the study.
“It is true that omega-3 fatty acids are found in the brain and are important for all types of brain function,” she said. “What has not been shown consistently through high-quality trials is that taking more of it in the form of fish oil supplements results in improved performance or disease prevention.”
Fish oil claims are not supported by science
Navarre said she and her colleagues decided to take stock of the claims on the labels of fish oil supplements after she was constantly hearing from her patients that they were taking them for heart-healthy benefits — and then saw their surprise when she advised them to do so. Probably nothing.
Navarre said she was “troubled” by her research when she learned that fish oil supplement labels often include claims implying health benefits for a wide range of organ systems, including the heart, brain and eyes.
“It’s not surprising to me that my patients think fish oil helps them,” she said.
previous search showed “conflicting results” As for whether fish oil supplements are good for heart health, and in recent years, new scientific data has cast more doubts.
in randomized trial more than 15,000 diabetic patients risk factor For cardiovascular disease – The risk of serious cardiovascular disease was not significantly different between those who took omega-3 supplements and those who did not.
Another randomized trial, which included more than 25,000 participants, show up These supplements did not reduce the risk of a major cardiovascular event or of developing cancer.
Omega 3 from the diet, not from a supplement
He said the fact that manufacturers of fish oil supplements imply a variety of health benefits – even though they are not promising – is concerning since the evidence does not support them. Luke Lavignea preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study.
“If we really think people benefited from it, we would describe it,” he said.
Lavigne said he encourages his patients to get omega-3 fatty acids from their diet. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds and chia seeds are rich in omega-3s, and eating them, he said, is part of a healthy diet, which is “very important when we think about cardiovascular health”.
“As cardiologists, we want people to take the right medication and not take things that won’t help them,” he said.
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