Fish Oil Supplements May Not Be As Good As Once Thought!

Omega 3 Supplements9-11-2012 That’s what was reported on World News with Diane Sawyer.  ABC’s Chief Health and Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser says that while we are spending about $740 million a year on fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids for better heart health,  a new study out today says that those supplements may not be doing all the good that we thought!  Dr. Besser explained that researchers analyzed 20 previous studies on heart health involving about 70,000 patients and said that overall,  people taking fish oil supplements died of heart disease and stroke at the same rate as anyone else! 

However, Nightly News with Brian Williams gave more details regarding this report.  NBC News’ Chief Science and Health Correspondent, Robert Bazell explained that the study by Greek scientists, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that fish oil supplements “neither do harm nor good.”  But it also showed that people taking fish oil supplements suffered 9% fewer heart deaths and 11% fewer heart attacks.  

But for factors sudden death, total deaths and strokes,  the study found no significant difference in taking fish oil supplements.

The medical professionals from both networks agree that getting your omega 3 fatty acids is best achieved by eating the fish itself.  One theory being that the body absorbs the omega 3’s better from the fish itself rather than from pills.  Another theory is that people who eat fish tend to do other healthy things as well.

ABC’s Dr. Besser has always recommended to his patients to get their nutrients from food rather than from supplements. He feels that “if you’re spending money on fish oil supplements to protect your heart, it might be better to put that money into a nice piece of salmon!”

He reminds us that on supplements bottle labels you will see disclaimers to the effect of “these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”  The supplement companies are only obligated to show that the product is safe, not that it works.

How do you know if you are getting enough nutrients from your food?

You may want to use a free online nutrient calculator such as The RightTrak.com. The RightTrak.com will calculate your Recommended Daily Allowances(RDA) for over 30 nutrients while it is calculating your BMI. You can select a variety of foods and The RightTrak will add up the nutrient values of your selected foods such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, beta carotene…and more. The RightTrak will turn Green if those allowances are met or Red if those allowances are not met.

Spend some time on The RightTrak.com and do several food searches. You will quickly learn and understand what favorite foods are giving you the most “Nutrient Bang for Your Buck!

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