Fish Oil: Chasing Evidence to Tip the Scales


Millions of Americans take fish oil supplements every day in hopes of preventing heart disease, depression, and even premature birth. It is one of the most popular nutritional supplements in the US

There has been a lot of research on fish oil supplements, but questions remain about their benefits.

Many studies so far indicate that the dietary supplements do not offer the benefits that marketers are promoting. A recent large randomized clinical trial found that fish oil at a dosage found in many supplements did not reduce the incidence of heart disease or cancer, the main benefits it is associated with.

However, scientists are continuing to investigate the potential heart health effects, including some other results from the most recent large study. They also delve deeper into possible effects that have been less well studied: on depression, cognition, autism, and other disorders.

“The judges really haven’t decided yet,” says Joann Manson, director of preventive medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who led the latest study on fish oil and heart health and cancer.


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