The review shows that it is not clear whether dietary or supplemental omega 3 fats (found in oily fish and some vegetable oils) alter total deaths, cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and strokes) or cancers in the general population, or in people at risk of, or with, cardiovascular disease. When the analysis was limited to fish-based or plant-based, dietary or supplemental omega 3 fats there was still no evidence of reduction in deaths or cardiovascular events in any group.
There is not enough evidence to say that people should stop taking rich sources of omega 3 fats, but further high quality trials are needed to confirm the previously suggested protective effect of omega 3 fats for those at increased cardiovascular risk
21 January 2009
This record should be cited as:
Hooper L, Harrison RA, Summerbell CD, Moore H, Worthington HV, Ness A, Capps N, Davey Smith G, Riemersma R, Ebrahim S. Omega 3 fatty acids for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003177. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub2
Assessed as up to date:
1 August 2004