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Fish oil components may not benefit everyone's heart

Omega-3 fatty acids don't improve cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes patients

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3:34pm, June 12, 2012

Ingredients in fish oil widely considered to have heart-healthy powers may not deliver in some people. People with type 2 diabetes, including many with a history of heart disease or hypertension, don’t seem to get a cardiovascular benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, the key ingredients in fish oil, researchers report June 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is surprising,” says Paul Marik, a physician and nutritionist at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. “Why it didn’t show a benefit is unclear.” Previous research has suggested that fish oil can also help against depression, sepsis, cancer, joint pain and neurological disorders. “I’m not sure that, based on this study, we should throw fish oil out the window,” Marik says.

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil lower blood levels of triglycerides, which have been linked to cardiovascular disease.

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