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Research: Fish Oil Pills Reveal No Benefit

Scientists say fish-based, omega-3 supplements are not beneficial or necessary.


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Fish oil supplements are promoted as a way to prevent heart disease and improve overall health, but scientists say research published in major journals shows these claims remain unproven—despite consumers spending $1.2 billion a year on the pills. “Almost all studies of fish oil supplements show no benefit,” former American Heart Association president Robert Eckel told the Washington Post. But what about plant-based sources of omega-3s? Although effective, it turns out that we might not need much supplementation after all. According to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM) Susan Levin, “Generally speaking, we don’t think vegans or vegetarians need to worry per se about omega-3s.” Levin believes additional supplementation may be uncecessary as long as someone has a fairly healthy plant-based diet. “There are certainly some sources of omega-3s which are very rich in those essential fatty acids … foods like flax seeds or walnuts [are], and you don’t need that much to get what you need because they are so rich in omega-3 fatty acids.”

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