UEA study busts Omega-3 myth

18 July 2018, 08:35 | Updated: 18 July 2018, 08:42

Fish oil capsule

A new study from the University of East Anglia has found Omega-3 supplements don't protect against heart disease.

The analysis concluded fish oil and omega-3 supplements offer little or no protection to the heart and may even lower levels of healthy cholesterol.

The huge review looking at trial data from more than 100,000 people around the world also failed to show any evidence that the popular supplements can reduce the risk of dying.

Millions of people take omega-3 in the belief that it helps prevent heart disease and early death.

The fatty acids, mostly found in oily fish such as salmon and tuna, are known to benefit health when consumed in small amounts in food.

But controversy surrounds the burgeoning industry and hype surrounding omega-3 supplements, which are claimed to prevent a host of ills ranging from dementia and depression to heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

The new research looked specifically at evidence of their impact on rates of heart disease, stroke and death.

Lead researcher Dr Lee Hooper said: "We can be confident in the findings of this review which go against the popular belief that long-chain omega-3 supplements protect the heart.

"This large systematic review included information from many thousands of people over long periods. Despite all this information, we don't see protective effects.

"The review provides good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause."