Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Caveat Emptor!

A very interesting and rather intriguing paper on omega-3 fatty acids and fish was published last May in Clinical Nutrition: the authors have reviewed literature with regard to the supplementation of omega-3 LC-PUFAs  

Previous evidence stated that high doses omega-3 LC-PUFAs produce a small but significant decrease in blood pressure in older and hypertensive subjects.

Due to the increasing interest in the benefits of LC-PUFAs, the authors aimed to evaluate the scientific evidence provided in the past five years (2012–2016) on the effects of the intake of omega-3 LC-PUFAs on cardiovascular risk factors such as inflammation and oxidative stress, through a systematic review in PubMed database.

28 articles were related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and are included in this systematic review. The studies included healthy subjects and CVD patients; we included the number of subjects, type of study, type and doses of omega-3 LC-PUFAs, primary outcomes, and results.

The use of omega-3 LC-PUFAs for ameliorating CVD risk factors can be recommended. However, the administration of omega-3 does not seem to show any benefit for the management of CVD or associated complications (Rangel-Huerta and Gil).

However, the devil is always hidden in the tiny details. Having a closer look at this paper and especially table 3, it can be seen that the authors compare head-to-head studies where pure omega-3 fatty acids were supplemented to humans to studies where fish was consumed.

Despite the fact, that this comparison is not unusual in literature; we have some scientific concerns whether this is the right way of evaluating the cardioprotective properties of fish.

Read the full article, HERE.
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