Daily supplementation with marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids has been promoted for its potential health benefits in cardiovascular diseases. We blogged about this last year with a meta-analysis from Oxford. Here is the update.
The promised randomized controlled trial has now come out after the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich last week.
The ASCEND trial studied 15480 patients with diabetes but without cardiovascular disease. They received 1g capsules of omega-3 fatty acids or matching placebo (olive oil) daily. Follow-up was 7.4 years on average, with adherence rate of 76%.
This study found no improvement in vascular health in those receiving omega-3 fatty acid supplementation compared to those assigned to received placebo.
Take home message
Despite what is in the popular press, routine dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation cannot be recommended.
The ASCEND Study Collaborative Group. Effects of n−3 Fatty Acid Supplements in Diabetes Mellitus. N Engl J Med 2018;Aug 26