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Fish Oil Supplements No Help to Heart or Brain

Two new studies found that omega-3 supplements, often sold in the form of fish oil, do not improve the health of the brain or heart.

After following more than 12,500 type 2 diabetes patients over the age of 50 for an average of 6.2 years, researchers saw no difference in heart health between those taking an omega-3 supplement versus a placebo. Diabetes patients are two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke, compared with people without diabetes. Another recent meta-analysis came to the same conclusion for people with a history of heart problems.

Additionally, in a new review looking at omega-3 supplementation for brain health, researchers found no link between omega-3 supplements and the prevention or improvement of dementia.

Bosch J, Gerstein HC, Diaz R, et al. n–3 fatty Acids and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with dysglycemia. N Engl J Med. Published online June 11, 2012.

Kwak SM, Myung SK, Lee YJ. Efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. Published ahead of print, April 9, 2012.

Dangour AD, Andreeva VA, Sydenham E, Uauy R. Omega 3 fatty acids and cognitive health in older people. Br J Nutr. 2012;107:S152-S158.

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