For the past few years, as cholesterol was pinpointed as a factor in cardiovascular events, fish oil supplements became insanely popular and profitable. But a recent study shows that Omega – 3 fish oil in supplements does not prevent heart attacks or strokes.
Just one decade ago scientists made fish oil look like a sort of life elixir. A study showed then that increasing the intake of Omega – 3s had a positive impact on the body. The mechanism however remained unknown. Even then, fish oil was seen as essential in boosting children’s immune system. But the new study comes to show that, at least when it comes to cardiovascular conditions, fish oil supplements do nothing to prevent them.
“Overall, omega-3…supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association” explains lead author Mosef Elisef.
Researchers with the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece published their results on the benefits of fish oil and Omega 3 in the prevention of heart attacks this Tuesday. By reviewing 20 clinical trials dating from 1989 to 2012 with 68,680 participants on the overall, scientists reached the conclusion fish oil supplements don’t actually have any benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular events.
In other words, you might have been fooled into buying fish oil supplements to keep your heart healthy. Don’t worry, it’s not just you who fell prey to a very profitable industry. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, in 2011 Americans bought fish oil – Omega 3 supplements worth $1.1 billion. And that’s 5.4 percent up compared to 2010’s sales. In 2010, Americans bought products enhanced with omega 3s worth roughly $4 billion.
The recent study showing fish oil in supplements does not prevent heart attacks or strokes is not the first. In April, South Korean scientists reached a similar conclusion and then two months later another study showed fish oil supplements have no benefits in boosting brain activity.
While some top cardiologists found the results compelling enough to recommend consumers to pause buying fish oil supplements, others are arguing the results are not good enough. So basically if you want to be healthy, eat healthy, rather than spend money on stuff that’s supposedly to be healthy. In the end, taking a pill said to contain a certain active ingredient doesn’t mean you’re heaving a healthy diet.