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Postgrad Med. 2008 Jul;120(2):92-100. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2008.07.1796.

Dispelling the myths about omega-3 fatty acids.

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  • 1SUNY Health Science Center, Brooklyn College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.


Although there is an enormous amount of information available on omega-3 fatty acids, it is sometimes misleading, contradictory, and unsupported by scientific fact. Consumers and medical professionals may be confused regarding the potential value of omega-3 fatty acid supplements, despite having either read or heard about fi sh oil consumption and/or omega-3 fatty acid benefits and risks. The availability of a prescription formulation of omega-3-acid ethyl esters (P-OM3) has provided important new information that helps to dispel the myths and alleviate concerns surrounding the use of omega-3 fatty acids in clinical practice. The safety and efficacy of P-OM3, but not dietary-supplement omega-3 fatty acids, are documented in placebo-controlled trials. In general, studies using Food and Drug Administration-approved dosages of P-OM3 have not substantiated various myths surrounding the negative effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, there are now evidence-based clinical guidelines for the use of omega-3 fatty acids in clinical practice.

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