With over the counter brands containing different concentrations there's a danger people may not be receiving sufficient intakes," said Calder.
Eating oily fish may prove more beneficial than taking capsules of omega-3. "This is because fish contain all sorts of other nutrients like vitamin D, selenium and iodine that may also be beneficial against CVD. And we don't have the final proof that the benefits from eating fish come from the omega-3," said Daan Kromhout, from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. "Fish, it needs to be remembered, don't provide a total panacea against CVD. As well as consuming fish, people need to eat healthy diets, not smoke and be physically active."
Conflicting trials of omega-3
The first association between omega-3 consumption and incidence of CVD was found in epidemiological studies in the late 1970s when Danish investigators Bang and Dyerberg discovered the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) was ten times higher among the Danish population than Greenland Inuits. "At the time the Greenland Inuits ate diets of whale and seal meat that were exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids," said Erik Berg Schmidt, from Aalborg University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. "The findings went contrary to the dogma of the time that animal fats were harmful and led to the hypothesis that omega-3 fatty acids reduce vascular disease."
Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acids named according to the position of the double bonds within their hydrocarbon chain. Since mammals lack enzymes to insert the double bond in the omega-6 or omega-3 position, they need to obtain these fatty acids from their diets. EPA and DHA enter the food chain th
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European Society of Cardiology