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Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Not Associated With Lower Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease...
ScienceDaily ^ | Sep. 11, 2012 | NA

Posted on 09/17/2012 10:37:49 PM PDT by neverdem

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Not Associated With Lower Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events

In a study that included nearly 70,000 patients, supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause death, cardiac death, sudden death, heart attack, or stroke, according to an analysis of previous studies published in the Sept. 12 issue of JAMA.

"Treatment with marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the prevention of major cardiovascular adverse outcomes has been supported by a number of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and refuted by others. Although their mechanism of action is not clear, their postulated effect on cardiovascular outcomes may be due to their ability to lower triglyceride levels, prevent serious arrhythmias, or even decrease platelet aggregation and lower blood pressure. Current guidelines issued by major societies recommend their use, either as supplements or through dietary counseling, for patients after myocardial infarction [MI; heart attack], whereas the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved their administration only as triglyceride-lowering agents in patients with overt hypertriglyceridemia, and some (but not all) European national regulatory agencies have approved the omega-3 administration for cardiovascular risk modification. The controversy stemming from the varying labeling indications causes confusion in everyday clinical practice about whether to use these agents for cardiovascular protection," according to background information in the article.

Evangelos C. Rizos, M.D., Ph.D., of the University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece, and colleagues performed a large-scale synthesis of the available randomized evidence by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the association between omega-3 PUFAs and major cardiovascular outcomes.

Of the 3,635 citations retrieved, 20 studies with 68,680 randomized patients were included, reporting 7,044 deaths, 3,993 cardiac deaths, 1,150 sudden deaths, 1,837 heart attacks, and 1,490 strokes. Analysis indicated no statistically significant association with all-cause mortality, cardiac...

(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: health; heartattack; heartdisease; medicine; omega3; omega3fattyacids; omega3s; pufa; stroke; triglycerides; vitamins

1 posted on 09/17/2012 10:37:53 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Only real wild Salmon will do, but that will soon be banned /S


2 posted on 09/17/2012 10:44:07 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

I guess the science wasn’t settled.


3 posted on 09/17/2012 10:46:41 PM PDT by TChad
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To: neverdem
I know I'm out of my league here but I have one stupid question:
Did they have a control group of half the 70,000 that didn't take the Fish Oil pills or did they have 2 groups of 70,000?
It would seem to me that this study would only be valid if there was a control group who didn't take the pills and a group that did take the pills.
But then again maybe they went the easy route and handpicked records for 70,000 other "random" people from the past who had not taken any Fish Oil pills.
4 posted on 09/17/2012 10:47:36 PM PDT by brent13a
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To: brent13a; mylife; neverdem; SunkenCiv; All

This kind of summary of various studies illustrates what is wrong with nutritional medicine in the hands of convention doctors and researchers. Our whole medical orientation is toward curing diseases, preferably with drugs. The idea of preventing disease through the use of vital nutrients, diet, exercise, and stress reduction is alien to the PharmoMedicoIndustrial Complex, and worst of all it costs a whole lot less.

All these so called nutrition studies try varying one nutrient like you would with a drug. What is need is studies using combinations of nutrients and diet that should reasonably target prevention of certain conditions. Dr. Atkins has written a number of books on this approach. Currently I am reading “Dr. Atkins’ Health Revolution: How Complementary Medicine Can Extend Your Life.” What he means by Complementary Medicine means preventive type nutriional medicine in combination with conventional medical treatment where that is warranted. Omega 3 and Omega 6 have been useful in combination with other health enhancing nutrients in successfully treating a number of conditions. Also the bottles say to take one 1 gram capsule once or twice a day. Atkins often used 8 or 9 grams a day. Comparing various studies, you no doubt have people taking different doses in different studies.

Personally, I became interested in nutritional health intervention when I was in my early 30’s. Now 40 years later I am in excellent health, look 15 or 20 years younger, never had the severe health problems that plagued my mother. They were starting, but that is when I discovered nutritional medicine. Only you can do what is really needed to maintain optimum health. The doctors are only interested when you start getting sick.


5 posted on 09/17/2012 11:17:13 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: neverdem
Meta surveys are not always helpful in pursuing or understanding the underling mechanisms of actions. Clearly, the previously noted benefits of omega 3 in prevention of sudden cardiac death are deemed credible to most of the significant researchers in this field. Oxford Journals Medicine Cardiovascular Research Volume 73, Issue 2 Pp. 310-315. Cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids Abstract Cardiac societies recommend the intake of 1 g/day of the two omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for cardiovascular disease prevention, treatment after a myocardial infarction, prevention of sudden death, and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. These recommendations are based on a body of scientific evidence that encompasses literally thousands of publications. Of four large scale intervention studies three also support the recommendations of these cardiac societies. One methodologically questionable study with a negative result led a Cochrane meta-analysis to a null conclusion. This null conclusion, however, has not swayed the recommendations of the cardiac societies mentioned, and has been refuted with good reason by scientific societies. Based on the scientific evidence just mentioned, we propose a new risk factor to be considered for sudden cardiac death, the omega-3 index. It is measured in red blood cells, and is expressed as a percentage of EPA + DHA of total fatty acids. An omega-3 index of >8% is associated with 90% less risk for sudden cardiac death, as compared to an omega-3 index of <4%. The omega-3 index as a risk factor for sudden cardiac death has striking similarities to LDL as a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Moreover, the omega-3 index reflects the omega-3 fatty acid status of a given individual (analogous to HbA1c reflecting glucose homeostasis). The omega-3 index can therefore be used as a goal for treatment with EPA and DHA. As is the case now for LDL, in the future, the cardiac societies might very well recommend treatment with EPA and DHA to become goal oriented (e.g. an omega-3 index>8%). http://cardiovascres.oxfordjournals.org/content/73/2/310.full
6 posted on 09/17/2012 11:21:33 PM PDT by kruss3 (Kruss3@gmail.com)
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To: gleeaikin

Right, it’s like the chocolate industry doing a study on how good chocolate is for you.


7 posted on 09/17/2012 11:26:15 PM PDT by gattaca ("Great things can be accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit " Ronald Reagan)
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To: gleeaikin
You have stated the truth. This is how I have felt about the situation for a long time.
One thing I would add is that the PharmoMedicoIndustrial Complex is still mostly close-minded also (as this study proves). Some inroads have been made but for the most part the PharmoMedicoIndustrial Complex is the same it's always been.
8 posted on 09/17/2012 11:40:10 PM PDT by brent13a
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To: gattaca
Maybe its working and we're cutting into someone’s profits.
If everyone bought more plavix this study wouldn't have to be done. OK sarcasm done.

I think omega-3 is supposed to be good for anti inflammation.
As one with heart disease its really genetics that's the problem. If you eat well and exercise and have bad genes your
screwed. If you eat junk and don't exercise and have good genes you should be ok.

9 posted on 09/18/2012 12:16:37 AM PDT by Morris70
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To: brent13a
this might be a better read for you
10 posted on 09/18/2012 12:47:52 AM PDT by MarMema (freedom for Amir)
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To: neverdem

It’s a freaking meta study. He looked over a whole bunch of other studies and extrapolated. Some of them were bloody questionnaires.

Well, what was the QUALITY of the fish oil supplement these people were taking.? There is a world of difference between actual clean waters pure fish oils like Nordic naturals brand, very pure but pricy, and chinese made pills found at your local Walgreen’s that might not have anything valuable in them. There was no standard.


11 posted on 09/18/2012 12:52:29 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

Nobodys getting my Carsons oil away from me. Awsome stuff. Studies be damn


12 posted on 09/18/2012 1:04:49 AM PDT by reefdiver (zer0 One and Done)
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To: Morris70

Right, nutrients are good for a variety of things, not just cardiac, etc. Heal one part of the body and you will heal many.


13 posted on 09/18/2012 1:07:24 AM PDT by gattaca ("Great things can be accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit " Ronald Reagan)
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To: gattaca

I am not giving up my Nature Made. I don’t care if it is the placebo effect or what. Since I have been taking my multis and a fish oil tab daily, my work output has increased, I exercise better and I feel better.

And I am a guy who smokes daily, drinks (once or twice a month) and works out at a gym two to four times a week (schedule permitting).

Nature Made may not be top of the line, but it’s good solid stuff.


14 posted on 09/18/2012 1:23:53 AM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: neverdem

Have you noticed that since progressives dominated academia, almost everything experts told us about food has been wrong?


15 posted on 09/18/2012 3:07:12 AM PDT by rsobin
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To: neverdem; All
When it comes to salmon, if you want the best, go with John West:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVS1UfCfxlU&feature=fvsr /
16 posted on 09/18/2012 3:28:11 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jimmy Carter is the Skidmark in America's panties, 0bama is the yellow stain in front!)
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To: neverdem

Krill oil for the win.


17 posted on 09/18/2012 3:52:49 AM PDT by GnL
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To: mkjessup

Re: your tag line

Love it!

I’d switch them tho....LOL


18 posted on 09/18/2012 3:52:56 AM PDT by Adder (No Mo BO)
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To: gleeaikin
I totally agree with you.

Now, watch Limbaugh jump on this and tell the world, "We don't need stinkin' vitamins" and the drones here on FR will dump theirs down the drain...

19 posted on 09/18/2012 4:02:20 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: brent13a; All
It would seem to me that this study would only be valid if there was a control group who didn't take the pills and a group that did take the pills.

...performed a large-scale synthesis of the available randomized evidence by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis...

What that means is that patients were randomly picked to be in one group or the other; i.e., control groups were built in. The meta-analysis part means that the researchers used some pretty heavy-duty statistics to compile and analyze the data; these statistics can find significant differences of less than a percent between different categories. (That doesn't mean the differences mean anything; just that they have been uncovered.) (The word "significant" refers to the reliability of the statistical findings, not to the subject of the research.)

My reading of this article suggests to me that the various original studies were undertaken to determine the effect of Omega-3 on triglyceride levels, not on cardiovascular disease. The assumption is that because cardiovascular disease and triglyceride levels are associated with each other, that the triglyceride levels drive cardiovascular disease progression. Such assumptions are not valid, but many physicians (who are rarely trained as researchers) who enter into research don't grasp the idea that correlation =/= causation. This meta-study actually used the data from those studies to look at cardiovascular outcomes, which is not what those studies were designed to look at (although the data was apparently recorded anyway).

I guess no one had looked at cardio outcomes before, because they had *all* made the mistaken correlation=causation assumption.

Anyway, sorry for being so long, but analysis of scientific topics can rarely be summed up in a couple of concise sentences.

20 posted on 09/18/2012 4:02:46 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: gleeaikin
You might want to read what Dr. Barry Sears has to say about this:

Meta-analysis study on fish oil effectiveness is fatally flawed

"So what is a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids? As I have already mentioned, the American Heart Association recommends 3.4 grams of EPA and DHA per day to lower triglyceride levels. However, I believe a better marker is the amount of omega-3 fatty acids needed to reduce the AA/EPA ratio to the levels found in the Japanese population, which has the lowest levels of cardiovascular events in the world. Recent studies with healthy Americans indicate that would take between 5 and 7.5 grams of EPA and DHA per day (2). Again, this indicates that the dose of omega-3 fatty acids in this meta-analysis was providing a placebo dose. "
21 posted on 09/18/2012 4:10:50 AM PDT by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy)
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To: neverdem

“Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Not Associated With Lower Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease...”

Sounds like the patent ran out. What’s next?


22 posted on 09/18/2012 4:27:32 AM PDT by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
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To: mylife
"Only real wild Salmon will do, but that will soon be banned /S

Nailed it. It's all about who gets to sell the stuff at wildly inflated prices. Under Obamacare, dietary supplements like fish oil tabs will no longer be available OTC. A govt. panel ("health practitioners") will suddenly declare them a miracle cure for everything from halitosis to male pattern baldness, and control the trade, from manufacture to sale.
23 posted on 09/18/2012 4:28:25 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: gattaca
Right, it’s like the chocolate industry doing a study on how good chocolate is for you.

About 5 years ago FR had a thread of a University study of the benefits of broccoli.

In another thread of about the same time period, guess what one of the major crops (thousands of acres) produced by that university's agri department was.
24 posted on 09/18/2012 5:04:50 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: exDemMom

Thank you. I have but a rudimentary understanding of stats and studies (obviously) from my intro classes in college. The tedious process of studies drives me to boredom and I personally believe that stats in many cases are worthless (as you can’t negate all biasses from them).

I figured there was some slight-of-hand used in this “study”.


25 posted on 09/18/2012 7:43:28 AM PDT by brent13a
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To: reefdiver

I take the Carsons Oil pills myself. I’m going to do so until they quit making it.


26 posted on 09/18/2012 7:45:51 AM PDT by brent13a
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To: MarMema; gleeaikin; exDemMom
Because the trials included in the Greek analysis went as far back as 1989, the researchers also considered whether growing use of statins and other medications could explain why later studies failed to support the early findings. But according to the team, led by Dr. Mosef Elisaf at the University Hospital of Ioannina, that wasn't the case.
"I think the bottom line is supplements are not always the answer," said Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston.


What I see:
"No, no! It is NOT the prescription meds that may be skewing anything....of course not!. Obviously it is simply that supplements are worthless."
"Also, please keep taking our prescription meds."
27 posted on 09/18/2012 7:52:05 AM PDT by brent13a
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To: neverdem

The headline could just as easily read, Prescription Statin Drugs Not Associated With Lower Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease...


28 posted on 09/18/2012 7:54:03 AM PDT by csmusaret (I will give Obama credit for one thing- he is living proof that familiarity breeds contempt.)
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To: exDemMom

So I guess this means the studies behind FDA approved Lovaza were just wrong?

Will Lovaza get the hook now?


29 posted on 09/18/2012 8:03:47 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: brent13a; exDemMom
Did they have a control group of half the 70,000 that didn't take the Fish Oil pills or did they have 2 groups of 70,000?

About half of the 70,000 total got omega 3 supplements. One of the things I like about press releases found at ScienceDaily is that they usually link the abstract. Here's part of it:

Association Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Data Extraction Descriptive and quantitative information was extracted; absolute and relative risk (RR) estimates were synthesized under a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q statistic and I2. Subgroup analyses were performed for the presence of blinding, the prevention settings, and patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and meta-regression analyses were performed for the omega-3 dose. A statistical significance threshold of .0063 was assumed after adjustment for multiple comparisons.

First, it's a Meta-analysis, so caveat emptor. They picked 20 studies out of 3,635 citations . Were they cherry picked? The usual level of statistical significance is that you would expect the results to happen by chance five times or less out of one hundred. I have no idea why they went for 63 times out of 10,000.
30 posted on 09/18/2012 9:52:56 AM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: brent13a
What I see:
"No, no! It is NOT the prescription meds that may be skewing anything....of course not!. Obviously it is simply that supplements are worthless."
"Also, please keep taking our prescription meds."

It was nothing of the sort. This study was of Omega-3s that are processed in standardized forms by pharmaceutical companies and prescribed as drugs. That is different from "natural" Omega-3s, since (by law) any pills made by pharmaceutical companies have to undergo stringent quality control testing, to include ensuring that a pill containing 5 units of active ingredient actually contains 5 units.

These standardized pills are not comparable to the supplements that you might buy at the store, which undergo very little quality testing, and may not contain anything close to the amount of active ingredient as stated on the label.

Personally, I avoid taking any pills--whether pharmaceuticals manufactured according to strict quality standards, or "natural" supplements purchased in a store--unless I absolutely must. My training in biochemistry tells me that ingesting these active ingredients puts stress on the body's detoxification systems, stress I'd rather avoid unless necessary.

31 posted on 09/18/2012 2:58:15 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: neverdem
First, it's a Meta-analysis, so caveat emptor. They picked 20 studies out of 3,635 citations . Were they cherry picked? The usual level of statistical significance is that you would expect the results to happen by chance five times or less out of one hundred. I have no idea why they went for 63 times out of 10,000.

It could be that only those studies contained the data they were specifically analyzing, and met certain inclusion criteria. The number of methodologically flawed studies is truly astounding. No offense, but I have found that most physicians who venture into the realm of research have no clue how to properly design a study, or how to interpret the results.

The reported P value doesn't concern me; it was probably the exact P value that they calculated. I've calculated extremely low P values (where P < 0.0001), but reported them as P < 0.05, because that's the standard acceptable level of significance.

32 posted on 09/18/2012 3:44:16 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
Personally, I avoid taking any pills--whether pharmaceuticals manufactured according to strict quality standards, or "natural" supplements purchased in a store--unless I absolutely must. My training in biochemistry tells me that ingesting these active ingredients puts stress on the body's detoxification systems, stress I'd rather avoid unless necessary.

There's a few supplement companies that will continue getting my $$ for a couple of their products.

tells me that ingesting these active ingredients puts stress on the body's detoxification systems

Back about 10-12 years ago when I was in the Marine Infantry I took some prohormones (the kind that got banned within a year or two). I know what some supplements can do to the detox system also. I experienced a painful detox for about 6 months. Awakened me to the ridiculousness of taking such things. However I do not experience that with taking some highly rated (& researched companies by me) fish oil, vitamins, and glucosamine/chondroiton. In fact, I can feel a physical change when I don't take them....sluggishness, muscles and joints ache....etc
I don't buy them at Walmart as I try to do enough research to hopefully negate the chinese poison thats probably in a lot of cheap supplements.
At any rate, unless someone is buying poisoned supplements or their body can't handle any foreign medicine then I don't see much of a chance of harming the detox system.

However, if when I turn 60 I poop out my liver in a bunch of pieces one day I'll say to myself, "exDemMom was right." Then I'll head to dialysis treatment.
33 posted on 09/18/2012 6:26:13 PM PDT by brent13a
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To: brent13a; gattaca; raybbr; Ragnar54; All

Good point about obscuring medication. When people go to Dr. Atkin’s clinic, they first try to wean the client off as much medication as possible. He even mentions that there are certain medications that really interfere with the nutrients needed for the problem being addressed.

Incidentally, anyone who really wants to rev up their condition and loose weight without a lot of painful hunger should Googe the Atkins Induction Diet, and then the 3 follow-up diets for long term maintenance. If you have a medical condition, you could ask the doctor to supervise your health as you try this, but you probably will get a lot of pooh pooh comments from the medical profession. If you do have a medical condition you will want to research this very carefully. There are several Atkins books available giving a lot of detail on treatment of individuals and success with very low carb diets, especially for diabetes. He also recommends using an array of vitamins and minerals. You really have to study this if you want to help yourself when your doctor is not willing to.


34 posted on 09/18/2012 11:42:24 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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