Dear Pharmacist: I just heard about the new study that says fish oil supplements don’t prevent heart attacks, and may not help us. Should I keep taking fish oils? — S.S., Chicago
Yes, if they’re high-quality. The “study” wasn’t a study at all, it was a meta-analysis, which means researchers examine results from a bunch of trials and draw their own conclusions based on the collective data. The meta-analysis you refer to appeared in the September 2012 issue of JAMA and included 68,000 participants in 20 different studies that covered a time frame 24 years. I have some problems with their opinion that fish oils are fairly worthless. The research I know of suggests strong benefits to the heart and arteries when you take high-quality fish oils. These are my problems with the JAMA article:
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