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Omega 3 fatty acid supplements may not stave off heart troubles, says study

Omega 3 pills are taken by millions of people on a daily basis for a number of ailments but the new research suggests that there is no evidence that they protect the heart.

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A new study shows that fish oil may not be effective in preventing heart attacks. (Wikimedia/Wikimedia commons)

Supplements of fish oil may not prevent heart attacks says a new study out today.

Omega 3 pills are taken by millions of people on a daily basis for a number of ailments but the new research suggests that there is no evidence that they protect the heart.

ABC News reported that previous clinical trials regarding the effectiveness of omega 3s and heart health has been mixed.

Some trials have shown that the supplements prevent strokes, heart attacks and sudden death, while others have shown little to no benefits.

The new meta-analysis reviewed findings from 20 previous studies dating back 24 years, which included about 70,000 volunteers.

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Those involved in most of the studies were of European descent and took about 1.5 grams of omega 3 supplements per day for approximately two years.

According to Bloomberg, the team of researchers from the University of Ioannina in Greece used statistical analysis to show that in most studies the pills did not work in preventing heart attacks.

"Overall, omega-3...supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke," wrote study author Mosef Elisaf, said CTV News.

Omega 3 supplements are big business in the US and around the world.

Bloomberg said that fish oil supplement sales in the US may reach three quarters of a billion dollars with omega 3 fortified foods accounting for about four billion.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120912/omega-3-fatty-acid-supplements-may-not-stave-heart-troubles-says-study