We’ve been thinking a lot about the recent news that the very highly respected Cochrane Library has published a review of 79 randomised trials, concluding that Omega 3 makes little or no difference to the risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities. We normally ignore these headlines, because next week there’ll be a contradictory headline. However, some of our customers are understandably concerned and confused so here’s what we think:
It’s virtually impossible to analyse this with any certainty, as we just don’t know enough about the studies involved. Some of the many questions we’d like to ask include:
- How much EPA and DHA were the participants given?
- In what form was it? Was it natural triglyceride or ethyl ester?
- What was their overall diet? What was their Omega 3 blood index at the start and at the end?
- Were the capsules they were given rancid?
- What was their Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio?
- How was their digestion and absorption?
- What was their health like? Had they already suffered from heart disease or a coronary event?
There are literally thousands of clinical trials that prove fish oils do work and we have first hand testimonials from our many customers who swear by the benefits. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approves the claim that 3000mg of EPA and DHA a day lowers high blood pressure. It works so well that the British National Formulary (BNF), a database of pharmaceutical drugs for doctors, warns against the use of fish oils alongside blood pressure medication.
In conclusion, we don’t believe in magic pills (nor claim to sell them) and are proponents of an overall healthy lifestyle. Supplements can never take the place of diet, but they can enhance it. But when these studies are undertaken, the quality of the supplement (strength, form and freshness) have to be taken into consideration.