Study Claims Fish Oil Supplements Are Overpromising

Researchers from Dallas’s University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that labels on fish oil supplements make health claims that aren’t backed up by evidence.

The supplement is expected to earn $2.4 billion worldwide by 2030.

A co-author of the study, Joanna Assadourian, told Medscape Cardiology that she wasn’t shocked by the prevalence of health claims on fish oil supplements based on her observations at supermarkets and pharmacies. She said that what was unexpected was just how broad the types of claims being made, from heart and brain health to joint health, eye health, and immunological function.

The health claims stated on dietary supplement packaging can be divided into two categories: Qualified health claims are allowed by the FDA and describe the supplement’s ability to treat or prevent disease.

Supplements can make health claims about how they help the body function, such as “supports immune function,” but not that they treat, prevent, or cure disease.

According to the study, 74% of the 2,819 fish oil supplements claimed some sort of health claim.

Preventive medicine expert and head of the Division at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, has remarked that labeling may make consumers highly deceived.

Claims that fish oil pills are good for your heart, brain, and joints are bogus.

Despite the lack of data from high-quality randomized clinical trials, enthusiasm for these supplements continues to rise.

Twenty percent or so of the over-60 crowd regularly consume fish oil pills.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon and mackerel have been demonstrated to be beneficial to health, but these advantages have not been observed in studies including omega-3 fatty acids taken in capsule form.

More than 25,000 people participated in a study published in 2019 that indicated that taking fish oil supplements did not affect lowering the risk of cancer or a major cardiovascular event.

Most nutritionists advise getting omega-3 and other fatty acids through food rather than supplements.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the following are good places to get your daily dose of omega-3s:

-Salmon, herring, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
-Oils derived from flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, canola, and olives
-Seeds containing chia
-Eggs and Olives