According to a new study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, daily omega-3 fatty acid supplements do not support—or hinder—heart health for people with type 2 diabetes. Although previous human trials have linked omega-3s to lesser incidence of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular ailments, researchers from Canada’s McMaster University found no such benefits for diabetics, who have an increased risk of heart disease.
The study examined more than 12,500 people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and heightened risk of cardiovascular troubles. Patients were given either a 1-gram omega-3 supplement or placebo every day for six years. Although the supplement lowered levels of triglycerides (a potential indicator of cardiovascular disease risk), they had no effect on cholesterol, researchers noted. And in looking at incidences of death, they determined that taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement had no impact on deaths from heart attack, stroke or other causes.
This study was funded by pharmaceutical company Sanofi.