It is commonly believed that omega-3 supplements can protect one against heart disease, but new research indicates otherwise

New evidence shows that omega-3 supplements have little or no effect on our risk of experiencing heart disease, stroke or death.

This is according to a review of 79 randomised trials, involving 112 059 people, which assessed the effects of consuming additional omega-3 fat.

What is omega 3?

Omega 3 is a type of fat. Small amounts of omega-3 fats are essential for good health, and they can be found in the foods that we eat.

The main types of omega-3 fatty acids are alphalinolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

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ALA is normally found in fats from plant foods, such as nuts and seeds (walnuts and rapeseed are rich sources). EPA and DHA, collectively called ‘long-chain’ omega-3 fats, are naturally found in fatty fish, such as salmon, and fish oils like cod liver oil.

Most review studies investigated the impact of giving a long-chain omega-3 supplement in a capsule form and compared it to a dummy pill. Only a few assessed whole fish intake.

Source: University of East Anglia via

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