A new study published this week shows pretty conclusively that if you are at high risk of heart disease, simply taking omega-3 supplements isn’t going to help reduce that risk.
The study was also highlighted last month by the CBC.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed a group of 12,536 patients “who were at high risk for cardiovascular events and had impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or diabetes.” Patients were randomly assigned into a group taking daily Omega-3 supplements, and a group taking daily placebos. The study followed up with both groups for more than six years.
In the group taking Omega-3 supplements, 581 people died from cardiovascular causes. In the group taking placebos, 574 patients died from cardiovascular causes.
There was no statistical difference in reducing deaths from heart disease between the group taking Omega-3 supplements and the group taking placebos.
This shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. There are no “superfoods” or instant cures out there, despite what some unscrupulous corners of the health supplement industry says.
After all, even if you have an airbag in your car, if you drive 100 miles an hour into a concrete wall, you’re still gonna die.
This study will hopefully help point people back to what doctors have been saying for decades.
Diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise.
There are no shortcuts.
And doctors and health agencies also say that oily fish, such as farmed or wild salmon, is an important part of a regular, healthy diet. Many studies show that eating seafood regularly has health benefits that far outweigh any risks, because seafood isn’t just a source of Omega-3 oils, it’s a low-fat source of protein loaded with many other nutrients.
Health supplements are just that, supplements. They are not intended to replace a healthy diet. And they are certainly not a silver bullet cure for significant health problems.
Diet and exercise. It’s slow, it’s not fun and it’s a drag, but it’s the only thing guaranteed to improve your health.