Benefits of Omega-3s for Heart Health Improperly Discounted in Latest Review, says CRN

Washington, D.C., July 20, 2018In response to a review, “Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease,” published July 18 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:

Statement by Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN: 

“The review’s authors make a broad conclusion that both sidesteps the existing literature supporting the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for heart health and misconstrues the role of dietary supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle. This review does not represent the totality of evidence, nor does it recognize how consumers incorporate omega-3s into their lifestyles to maintain a healthy heart in the first place.

Decades of research, including clinical trials, point to the overarching importance of omega-3s as essential nutrients for cardiovascular, perinatal, and cognitive health, as well as other basic human functions. Of note, multiple studies, including those in this review, have shown that omega-3s significantly reduce triglycerides and raise ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL, both of which are vital factors for maintaining a healthy heart. Still, the authors’ conclusions reflect a disconnect between their recommendations and the effects of omega-3s on these well-recognized biomarkers for a healthy heart.

CVD is a complex, multifactorial disease, and expectations about the role dietary supplements can play in reducing risk must be managed responsibly. The road to good health is not a one-way street and no single action—or supplement—can clear all detours and roadblocks on this lifelong journey. Omega-3s can contribute to CVD risk reduction, but only when used in combination with other healthy choices such as diet and exercise.

CRN advises consumers to talk with their healthcare practitioners about the totality of cardioprotective measures available for reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit Follow us on Twitter @CRN_Supplements and LinkedIn.