Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Extra Omega-3's May Not Be Helpful

Source: Reuters.com (Summary by NIM)

Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing when it comes to helping prevent diseases. They help keep our hearts, skin, nails and hair healthy and they are absolutely essential in our diets. Since we are unable to produce these healthy fats on our own, we have to include them in our diets - the best sources being fish. Now, for those of us who simply can't bear the idea of eating fish, there are, thankfully, omega-3 supplements, but these days, it seems we're taking in even more than we need. According to a new study, taking more may not necessarily be better.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the new study of 2,400 Norwegian adult heart patients followed for 5 years found that taking some omega-3 supplements may indeed be helpful, but taking more has not been shown to give even greater benefits. This was especially true in those adults who already eat some fish during the week.

The authors caution, however, that the average diet in Norway tends to include a lot more fish than we consume here in North America, so the results may not necessarily be applicable to everyone. In the study, only two percent of patients consumed levels of omega-3s below the recommended level! So unless we start eating a lot more fish, it's probably a good idea to keep taking those omega-3 supplements (just don't go crazy with them!)!

Find out more about this study in the article called "After a point, more omega-3s don't help the heart" from Reuters.com (May 31, 2010)