We’ve all seen the ads on TV and in magazines proclaiming omega-3 supplements as the easy path to improved health. After all, our bodies are incapable of producing these fatty acids, and if we can’t make something, we buy it — it’s the American way.
But what gets less attention is that omega-3 deficiency in healthy people is nearly nonexistent. New research, published in Medical News Today, suggests supplements containing the lipid chains provide little actual health benefits.
A trip through the supplement aisle of your favorite grocery or drugstore would lead you to think that omega-3s diminish your risk for cancer and boost cardiovascular health. The British Journal of Cancer, however, says these fatty acids convey either slight or no benefits to the user. Shockingly, taking too many omega-3 supplements has been shown to increase a person’s risk of being diagnosed with various forms of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
How does omega-3 stack up for cardiovascular health? Not so much. Scientists from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews say omega-3 products have little chance of bolstering the strength of your body’s most vital muscle and won’t reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
A daily dose of omega-3 is certainly preferable to diet of fast food, but the health results are not measuring up to the hype.
A better alternative is to get more healthy fatty acids by adding more vegetables and fish to your diet. After all, nature typically provides all that you need. But if you do want a boost, reach for fish oil supplements. Fish oil has been shown to be a reliable ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.