When a research seems to be flawed!

Logo_Tharos_fondotranspA recent article published by Nutritional Outlook outlines why the so published Cochrane research is flawed. Do you remember that research?…check it here.

Cochrane’s 730-page report outlines that increasing long-chain Omega-3s provides little if any benefit on most outcomes that they looked at. They found high evidence that long-chain Omega-3 fats had little or no meaningful effect on the risk of death from any cause. The risk of death from any cause was 8.8% in people who had increased their intake of Omega-3 fats, compared with 9% in people in the control groups. At the end of their paper the review authors concluded that “moderate-and high-quality evidence suggests that increasing EPA and DHA has little or no effect on mortality or cardiovascular health…

It seems that the research conclusions are not entirely accurate as stated by OmegaQuant whom believes that this Cochrane report is biased because it ignores a large body of evidence showing favorable effects of EPA and DHA on cardiovascular risk. In their opinion, the review authors’ conclusions go far beyond the data that they review.

OmegaQuant sustain its conclusions from the many researchers that keep doing meta-analyses on the same (old) studies, generating negative headlines over and over again. This Cochrane review presents no new information that other review authors haven’t stated before. Headlines that proclaim “new studies show omega-3 are ineffective…” are often highly misleading because no new studies were involved.

On the contrary, there have been other meta-analyses based on new data that reported overall benefits for EPA and DHA, but these reviews have not been reported on as broadly as the negative headlines.

New data are needed and will be forthcoming with the anticipated publishing of the REDUCE-IT trial (sponsored by pharmaceutical firm Amarin Pharma) and STRENGTH study (sponsored by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca) in the next one to two years.

Cochrane’s research design had indeed some flaws. For example, how the meta-analysis  were designed. Typically, the people in these studies were older, already had some chronic cardiometabolic disease, and were taking several other medications. What’s more, low doses of Omega-3s were typically given, and the studies typically ran for only two to three years on average.

Most important is that Omega-3s may not “work” as pharmaceutical compounds, but it does as a nutritional one.

Most intriguing for OmegaQuant was that The Cochrane authors’ interpretations do not match their own reported findings.  There was strong statistical significance for EPA and DHA in reducing risk for coronary heart disease events; yet, the review authors said there was “probably no benefit.” Why?

In the “Main Results” section of the Cochrane report, the authors dismiss the highly statistically significant benefit shown for long-chain Omega-3s in coronary heart disease events. Instead, the authors concluded that “Long-chain omega-3 (LCn3) probably makes little or no difference to [coronary heart disease] event risk.”

Additionally, the dosage use of EPA and DHA on the research was low.

Most likely participants had already a high level of Omega-3’s in the body so it cant expect to see an effect of supplementation in people who already have healthy blood levels of Omega-3s.

…. don’t fail taking your daily Omega-3 dosage  !!


Picture of Dimitri Sclabos
Dimitri Sclabos

Founder and Co-owner