[Vision2020] Fw: Why doesn’t fish oil prevent heart attacks anymore?
lfalen at turbonet.com
Sat Jun 18 18:07:22 PDT 2016
Subject: Why doesn’t fish oil prevent heart attacks anymore?
From: "Nutrition Action" <nutritionaction at nutritionaction.com>
To: LFALEN at TURBONET.COM
Date: 06/17/16 13:33:02
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Friday, June 17, 2016
Nutrition Action Daily Tip
Maybe it depends on the drugs you're taking.Author: David Schardt in: Heart and Disease
"Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research," read the headline in the New York Times. "Flimsy evidence that fish oil helps the heart," the Sarasota Herald-Tribune wrote.
Are you taking fish oil pills because you thought this would prevent fatal heart attacks? What gives?
"People who eat a diet that's high in fish have a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes in many observational studies," says JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
But those studies, which observe a lower risk in fish eaters, can't prove cause and effect. "Fish may replace foods-like red meat-that increase risk," notes Manson. "Or fish eaters may have other behaviors that lower their risk."
To prove cause and effect, researchers need a trial that randomly assigns people to take either a placebo or fish oil pills. Pills are used since it's tough to find a placebo for salmon or tuna, and there's evidence that it's the omega-3 fats in fish oil that protect the heart.
These kinds of randomized, controlled trials of fish oil conducted 10 to 15 years ago in Italy and Japan did seem to show that fish oil protects the heart.
It worked here.
For example, an Italian trial called the GISSI Prevention study tested fish oil on roughly 11,000 men and women who had already suffered a heart attack. They were randomly assigned to take the omega-3s EPA and DHA (850 milligrams total) or vitamin E (300 mg) or both every day or no pills at all. (There was no placebo, and the participants knew which pills they were taking, but researchers still consider the results important.)
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