On Monday, the Journal of the American Medical Association released a study that concluded that omega-3s were not helpful to patients who already have cardiovascular disease. But industry sources are quick to point out the meta-analysis flaws.
Industry sources took issue with the structure of meta-analysis and disagreed with its conclusions, citing a number of supportive studies that were excluded.
The meta-analysis, conducted by four Korean researchers, looked at 1,007 articles from which they gleaned 14 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies covering a total of 20,485 patients with a history of CVD. They concluded that there was “insufficient evidence of a secondary preventive effect” for these patients.
All of these patients were already sick and were using various pharmaceutical treatments. It’s a huge confounding factor, one that the meta-analysis did not control for. And even 20,000-plus patients, given the differences between the chosen studies, may be too small a sample size under those conditions to parse out whatever effects omega-3s might be exerting.
“That’s one of the issues with most of the secondary prevention studies for omega-3s,” said Adam Ismail, executive director of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3.
“That doesn’t mean omega-3s have no benefit in that population. It means you have to have a really big population size in order to see an effect because they are already giving things that you know have an effect. So any additional effect is likely to be smaller than just giving them omega-3s and nothing else.”
This is the excerpts that are most worth noting. I have already seen a host of articles in the networked and mainstream press stating, “See, Omega-3s don’t help.”
There are some factors in judging the effectiveness of the Omega-3s you are taking. Here’s some reasons why Omega-3s may not be effective. Omega-3 fish oil must be distilled under the presence of nitrogen. If it’s process under the presence of oxygen, rancidity occurs. Big boxes stores with warehouses in Texas and other southern states will spoil sooner than those sold by small batch distillers. Finally once the bottle is opened light and air can affect the shelf life. Best to store your OMega-3s in the fridge and use them up once the bottle has been opened. Once I bought a clear bottle of Omega-3s capsules from Sam’s Club as a test. The bottle was clear and you could see the capsules inside. It looked cool. However, the oil was completely rancid and it was gagging. The reason most likely is due to the exposure to light which will also causes oxidation to occur. The bottles we use block that light.
In case you are wondering about all the good studies that were left out of this meta analysis, click here. This meta-analysis, which was conducted by 4 Korean researchers, reading about other studies, obviously missed the preponderance of evidence witnessed in the much larger and landmark studies. Read them for yourselves. In the meantime when CNN or FOX, NBC or ABC says, Omega-3s don’t help, think again.
LET’S PROVE THEM WRONG!
Of course, the media will tell you plant based multivitamins don’t work either.