A new meta-analysis on omega-3s, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is making waves in mainstream media with articles spouting titles such as, "More Evidence That Omega-3 Supplements Don't Work."
But two top nutrition associations dispute the findings.
"Our main concern is that the results of this meta-analysis will be taken out of context," said Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council of Responsible Nutrition (CRN).
Researchers from the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece reviewed 20 studies that included nearly 70,000 patients and found no statistical significance to support the claim that omega-3 supplementation leads to a lower risk of adverse cardiovascular events. The study was published Sept. 11.
However, the Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED) calls the study flawed. "Given the flawed design of this meta-analysis, bypassing the advice of the American Heart Association or the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by stating that omega-3s are not cardioprotective could be harmful to public health," said Adam Ismail, GOED executive director.
Among the study's other flaws, CRN's Duffy stated, "This meta-analysis combined studies that were not comparable in their design (e.g., studies on healthy individuals were combined with those targeting diseased individuals), which makes the results more skew."