LARGE STUDY: The Center for Clinical Heart Research at Oslo University Hospital Ullevål has for eight years researched whether omega-3 supplements are positive or not for elderly patients who have had a heart attack. Photo: Frode Hansen
– Does not reduce the risk of heart disease
Another study from 2019 that tested a particularly high dose of EPA only (4 grams) on people with high levels of the fat triglycerides in the blood showed a significant reduction in heart disease and death after 4 years, but they also had an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation.
– But this is a drug that is approved in the US and not in the same class as omega-3 supplements, says doctor and researcher Peder Myhre at Ahus who has participated in the Norwegian study which is now published in Circulation.
He states that several recent studies has come to the conclusion that omega-3 supplements have a very limited effect on the heart.
– The conclusion is that omega-3 as a dietary supplement does not reduce the risk of getting heart disease.
– Dietary supplements are not for treating disease
Orkla Health says they are positive about the research and that they have contributed capsules to this independent study to contribute to increased knowledge about omega-3.
– First and foremost, it is important for us to emphasize that dietary supplements are intended for healthy people, not to treat disease. The study referred to here was conducted on elderly patients with an average age of 75 years and who have had a heart attack, and these are therefore not representative of healthy people, writes Gunnhild Aarstad, head of research, development and innovation at Orkla Health, in an e- mail conveyed via the information department.
Orkla points out that health claims for dietary supplements are approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and also apply in Norway. These claims are based on the premise that dietary supplements should be used by healthy people. Orkla writes that health claims on their dietary supplements have been approved by EFSA.
Åse Andresen, clinical nutritionist in Takeda – who is behind nycoplus who also makes omega-3 supplements, writes in an email that the best health effect may come from eating enough oily fish, not only omega-3 supplements, but that we know from Norwegian dietary surveys that only 1 in 4 of us get to this.
– The Norwegian Directorate of Health still recommends supplements for everyone who eats less than 200 grams of oily fish a week. Omega-3 also has other approved health claims that are not related to the heart, but also vision and brain, writes Andresen.
Published: 17.11.20 kl. 14:53
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