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Does fish oil actually help heart health?

I have been saying for years that fish oil is NOT the way to go to treat heart disease. I have been “boo-ed” at conferences, I’ve been told I will never speak again if I keep spouting this blasphemy. Therefore, I am proud to say that this latest article from Examine.com is a victory. Enjoy!

Here is a short summary of an analysis of Associations of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement Use With Cardiovascular Disease Risks: Meta-analysis of 10 Trials Involving 77 917 Individuals by Kamal Patel:


CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide and is sometimes preventable through lifestyle changes. Several researchers and organizations have been interested in the effects of fish oil on CVD outcomes but have found conflicting evidence. The meta-analysis under review re-evaluated some of the largest trials on the topic, and assessed the relationship between fish oil supplementation and CVD outcomes.

Who and what was studied?

This meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials included 77,917 participants and explored the associations between EPA and DHA supplementation and several cardiovascular disease outcomes, such as fatal CHD, nonfatal heart attacks, stroke, and several other variables over the course of one to six years.

What were the findings?

There was no significant association between omega-3 FA supplementation and any of the primary outcomes. There was also no association between the primary outcomes and any of the variables explored in subgroup analyses.

What does the study really tell us?

This meta-analysis had several strengths, such as only including trials with large sample sizes, long durations, and control groups. It was also preregistered, providing more confidence that extra analyses weren’t run for the sake of finding significant associations.

The big picture

It’s very possible that fish consumption may have a beneficial impact on CVD outcomes. However, most of the studies that have detected an association were observational studies. Thus, more controlled research is needed to assess what in fish may be responsible for these beneficial outcomes. The evidence currently suggests that fish oil supplementation does not have a beneficial outcome on CVD events.

What should I know?

Fish oil supplementation and cardiovascular disease have a long and confusing history. Several organizations have recommended fish oil supplementation based on favorable results from randomized trials and observational studies. However, this large meta-analysis of RCTs shows that these recommendations are not well supported by the evidence. It found no association between supplementation and any cardiovascular outcome.

Please read the entire article at this link: https://examine.com/nutrition/fish-oil-hearth-health/