Clear benefit or no clear benefit, that is the question
et al exclusion criteria underpinning the sweeping conclusion that
".. omega-3 fats have no clear [sic] effect on total mortality,.."
needs to be questioned if only because they allowed the inclusion of the MARGARIN trial [Bemelmans,
2002] while excluding the larger Lyon
trial on which the former was 'inspired' and that was halted early because of a mortality benefit from a high omega-3, low omega-6 canola oil margarine. Lyon was supported by analysis of blood fatty acids demonstrating the targeted efficacy of its omega-3 canola (rapeseed) based intervention and with other fatty acids changing less than 11% up or down.
Unlike Lyon, the MARGARIN study was confounded by a massive intake of omega-6 linoleic acid and predictably no effect was found; indeed, Figure 2 of the Hooper et al analysis shows the odd ball nature
of that trial. Excluding MARGARIN and including Lyon instead, the virtually significant mortality reduction of 14% might well have become so and I propose that anyone should be enthused by the finding of such nutrient rather than drug-based finding of even this meta analysis.
Plant and fish based omega-3 fatty acids have important and complementary roles supported by many avenues of research and supplement based marine omega-3's have the added advantage of not necessarily depleting fish stocks
and thus being a sustainable source of such fatty acids.
Competing interests: No competing interests