A Study casts doubt on the heart benefits of fish oil

A new study adds to a growing body of evidence that fish oil does not protect against heart disease. Rather than conduct their own research, the scientists gathered all the data they could find from previous studies and analyzed them together. In the end, fish oil had no effect on whether or not a person would develop any major cardiovascular disease.
The whopping amount of data in the study was pooled from 20 separate clinical trials and included nearly 70,000 patients. The team, led by Dr. Moses Elisaf at the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece, determined whether or not patients who took omega-3, the polyunsaturated fatty acid thought to give fish oil its beneficial effects, experienced better cardiovascular health than patients not taking omega-3. They looked specifically at cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction and stroke. There was no statistical difference in the outcomes of the two groups, and the team concluded that taking omega-3 supplements was not associated with a lower risk for any of these conditions.
Interestingly, they saw that protective effects against cardiovascular disease were indeed seen when only parts of the data were analyzed. But as they added more data from other studies, these benefits shrank and were eventually nonexistent. The beneficial effects seen with the limited data could help explain the inconsistent findings from omega-3 trials performed in the past.