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6 June 2018

Omega-3 supplements lack evidence

New research has shown no significant association between omega-3 and improved heart health.

Omega-3 supplements have been trumpeted for their raft of supposed health benefits, but new research provides further evidence that claims have outstripped the science. The best advice remains to get your omega-3 from dietary sources.

Among the claims made for the pricey supplements is that they’re beneficial for heart health. However, a study analysing data from 10 clinical trials involving 77,917 people with a history of heart disease or at high risk of disease found no significant association between omega-3 supplements and reduction of heart attacks, strokes or other major vascular events.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Cardiology, concluded available evidence didn’t support recommending the supplements for people with a history of coronary heart disease.

There is research showing diets that include seafood high in omega-3 may benefit heart health.

Oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines, and mussels are good sources of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Vegetarian or don’t eat fish? In plants, omega-3 is present as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean and canola, and chia seeds and walnuts are good sources of ALA.

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