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September 1990

Adverse Effects of Fish Oil

Author Affiliations

Milwaukee, Wis

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(9):1967-1971. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390200143031

To the Editor.— Fisher et al1 in their article on n-3 fatty acids and cellular aspects of atherogenesis suggest that urgent trials of n-3 fatty acid supplementation are needed to assess their effects on atherosclerotic disease. While epidemiological studies2,3 have documented a reduced incidence of ischemic heart disease in populations with a high intake of n-3 fatty acids, there is also an unexplained increased incidence of stroke.2,3 Apart from a high incidence of unpleasant side effects in patients taking fish oil supplements, clinical4 and laboratory studies5 have shown evidence of raised blood pressure in groups taking omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. In addition, recent epidemiological evidence has shown an increased incidence and prevalence of hypertensive related diseases3 in the same type of population in whom there is a low incidence of ischemic heart disease. While the theoretical benefits of n-3 fatty acid supplementation are

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