Omega-3 fatty acids don’t appear to have an effect on cardiovascular events, according to a meta-analysis published in JAMA.
The analysis included 20 randomized trials of nearly 69,000 patients that evaluated omega-3 supplementation or dietary counseling against placebo or a control diet for the primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Two of the trials looked at dietary counseling, producing divergent results on cardiovascular outcomes: One favored an omega-3-rich diet, while the other favored a control diet. The rest of the trials evaluated supplementation: Omega-3s (mean dose, 1.5 g/day) were not associated with all-cause mortality, sudden death, cardiac death, MI, or stroke after a median treatment period of 2 years.
The authors conclude: “Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 … administration.”