Lifestyle & Belief

Fish oil supplements may not be as helpful as once thought, study says


A new study has shown that omega-3s may not be as healthful as once thought.



Fish oil supplements may not improve heart health or symptoms of dementia in older people, a new study shows.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that in a review of three separate studies of the supplements' effect on healthy people, there was no difference between fish oil and the placebos regarding cognition or heart health.

"The results of the available studies show no benefit for cognitive function with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation among cognitively healthy older people," said study co-author Emma Sydenham at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reported CBC News.

According to Reuters, the three trials reviewed by the researchers involved over 3500 healthy people over the age of 60.

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The trials lasted between six and 40 months.

The researchers said that neither the placebo group nor the group receiving fish supplements, showed any sign of cognitive decline, which may speak to the short-term duration of the three studies.

"The truth is many people are spending a lot of money on supplements without solid evidence they do something," Nikolaos Scarmeas, a neurology and aging researcher at Columbia University Medical School told Reuters.

NetDoctor reported that the study authors warned against making swift conclusions about the effectiveness of the supplements in the long-term.

The research was published in the Cochrane Library of Reviews.