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Does Fish Oil Help? Some Studies About Omega-3 Dispute Benefits

Image: Does Fish Oil Help? Some Studies About Omega-3 Dispute Benefits
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By    |   Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 05:30 PM

Taking omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish or with fish oil supplements is widely touted as helpful for a variety of conditions, including cardiac issues and joint inflammation.

But although medical research has found support for increasing omega-3s in certain health situations, in other situations it “may” be helpful but needs more research.

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In the last few years, several studies have indicated either complications associated with taking fish oil or have found that it may not be as helpful for health issues as previously thought. Here are a few of those:

• A study published in March 2014 found that fish oil supplements may not be as good for heart health as previously thought. “Looking at the 17 randomized clinical trials that we combined, the majority of the trials — especially the more recent and large-scale ones — showed consistently little or no significant effect on reducing coronary heart disease events," Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, lead author of the study, told HealthDay.

• Two studies by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that increased omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil has been linked to increased risk for prostate cancer.

The most recent study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, “linked eating a lot of oily fish or taking potent fish oil supplements to a 43% increased risk for prostate cancer overall, and a 71 percent increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer,” Harvard Health Publications reported online.

But questions remain after the cancer center’s studies, Harvard writer Dr. Howard LeWine wrote. “Despite this one study, you should still consider eating fish and other seafood as a healthy strategy. If we could absolutely, positively say that the benefits of eating seafood comes entirely from omega-3 fats, then downing fish oil pills would be an alternative to eating fish,” he said. “But it’s more than likely that you need the entire orchestra of fish fats, vitamins, minerals, and supporting molecules, rather than the lone notes of EPA and DHA.”

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• The University of Maryland Medical Center said that although omega-3 fatty acid intake may help protect against strokes caused by plaque buildup and blood clots, taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 a day may increase risk for hemorrhagic stroke. Such strokes are caused when an artery leaks or ruptures in the brain, and are potentially fatal.

As with all medical care, talk to your physician about the studies and effects on your health.

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Taking omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish or with fish oil supplements is widely touted as helpful for a variety of conditions, including cardiac issues and joint inflammation.
fish oil, omega-3, studies, dispute, benefits
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2014-30-17
Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 05:30 PM
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