A Warning About Omega-3 Supplements (Video)

Supplements may not help those with cardiovascular risk

omega 3 vitamins in shape of a fish

Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acid supplements is good for your heart, but a new study finds that taking omega-3 supplements may not be as beneficial – at least in at-risk patients.

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At-risk people don’t experience omega-3 benefits

An Italian study found that people with underlying cardiovascular risk factors may not get the heart health benefits of omega-3 supplements.

Cardiologist David Frid, MD, did not take part in the study but said, “There was really no benefit in this at-risk population of reducing the likelihood of having some cardiac event if they took an omega-3 supplement.”

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Cardiovascular risk factors include:

What the study found

More than 12,000 people with multiple cardiovascular risk factors were split into two groups by researchers. About half were given a 1-gram capsule of omega-3 fatty acids. Others were given olive oil.

Researchers found daily treatment with the omega-3 fatty acids didn’t reduce cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.

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More studies are needed to figure out who will be served best by omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

Question about dosage amount

Dr. Frid says despite the study’s findings that there’s no harm in taking omega-3 supplements and that future studies should try larger doses than the 1 gram given in this study. He says higher doses may be more effective.

“Maybe a slightly higher amount of omega-3 would have been beneficial,” says Dr. Frid. “The dose of 1 gram used in the study is the average dose that is often recommended. We don’t know if a higher dose like 2 grams might have been more beneficial.”

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