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A meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials that included 68,680 patients on varying doses of omega-3 fatty acids measured all-cause mortality and incidence of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events.
In the pooled analysis, the total number of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarctions and strokes) was lower in the omega-3 group than in the control group, although the trends were not statistically significant. The study authors concluded that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids “was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. , .”
These reductions are not clinically insignificant. Cardiovascular disease is a complex, multifactorial condition for which a wide range of safe, non-drug interventions might produce additive benefits. Thus, while fish oil by itself may not be a “magic bullet,” it could be a useful component of a comprehensive program that includes dietary modifications, weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise, and various nutritional supplements.
Tags: omega-3 fatty acid, omega 3, omega-3, cardiovascular, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, fish oil