No Cardiovascular Protection From Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Humans

Supplementing diets with n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids did not prevent serious vascular events in patients with diabetes mellitus, found a trial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The 15 480 trial participants with diabetes but no atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to receive 1-g capsules of either n −3 fatty acids or an olive-oil placebo daily.

After a mean 7.4 years, 8.9% of patients in the fatty acid group had a serious vascular event compared with 9.2% in the placebo group. Death from any cause occurred in 9.7% of the fatty acid group and 10.2% of the placebo group.

Although clinical guidelines recommend n −3 fatty acid supplements for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, results from this trial and others do not support that recommendation, wrote the investigators.

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