If you take a daily dose of fish oil supplements, you’re far from being the only one, but researchers are now questioning the efficacy of this popular pill.

 

According to a Washington Post report, Americans spend about $1.2 billion every year on fish oil pills and other similar products. Each pill contains omega-3 fatty acids that are supposed to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, heart disease, and stroke. Studies are now showing that these pills do little for heart health.

 

Comparative studies on fish oil by Jama Internal Medicine

Comparative studies on fish oil by Jama Internal Medicine (archinte.jamanetwork.com)

An analysis of 24 studies published in Jama Internal Medicine found that only two of the studies showed that fish oil pills had beneficial effects on the user’s health. The report stated “that the supplements lack efficacy across a range of health outcomes for which their use is advocated.”

 

Since 2007, Americans have tripled their spending of fish oil pills, and now about 10 percent of Americans take them. Are we wasting our money on an ineffective product?

 

“Omega-3s in supplement form have not been shown to protect against heart disease,” states the National Institutes of Health’s website. Despite statements like this, these pills are more popular than ever.

 

Why is it that health crazes rarely end after they are found to have ineffectual results? Stanford University professor John P.A. Ioannidis and his colleagues have researched the continued use of disproven health claims in scientific papers.

 

“What we have found is that the original papers continue to be cited well after they have been refuted,” said Ioannidis. “These claims do not easily die away.”

 

More proof will need to be made public before this health craze can be put to rest. With millions of Americans taking these potentially ineffective supplements regularly, it’s possible that this trend will continue to thrive.

 

Do you take fish oil pill? Will you continue to purchase them? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.