The good news for patients is that this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows no evidence fish oil is harming anyone, except perhaps in their wallets.
Americans spend $740 million a year on fish oil. Researchers reviewed 20 studies on heart disease involving 70,000 patients and found that it didn't make a difference, at least in the patients in these studies. Whether a patient took the pills or not, both groups had equal instances of heart disease and stroke.
"There's a lot of claims that are made about diets and supplements that just don't have the evidence behind them," said Dr. Harlan Krumholz with the Yale Medical School.
Many doctors are saying not to stop taking fish oil based on this news. Critics say the patients weren't followed long enough to draw conclusions about benefits, and that the types of fish oils and patients varied from study to study.