Does your omega-3 fatty acid supplement really reduce your risk for heart disease? Earlier this month, Greek researchers released an analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials looking at over 68,000 patients aged 49 to 70 taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for prevention of cardiovascular disease. What the study found was that the guidelines supporting an increased intake of omega-3s to prevent heart disease are not supported through research.

David Brill, M.D., interventional cardiologist and Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Washington Adventist Hospital, was interviewed on WTOP radio about the findings.

“What this analysis shows is that patients who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements had no benefit in terms of reducing the risk of death or other cardiovascular events, such as stroke or heart attack,” said Dr. Brill. “However, most experts would agree there’s good evidence to indicate that natural foods that have omega-3 fatty acids in them, such as fresh salmon and tuna, are beneficial and that patients who consume high quantities of those foods do have a benefit in terms of protecting themselves from heart disease and cardiovascular events.”

Dr. Brill suggests instead of adding a supplement to your diet, rethink the foods you’re eating. “Try and consume a healthy quantity of oily fish and other foods that naturally have a beneficial affect on your cholesterol such as almonds, walnuts, soy, oatmeal, bran, whole grains and other plant based foods,” he said.

So tell us, do you take omega-3 supplements? Will this research make you think twice? And what are you doing to stay heart healthy?