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Research Letter
March 2014

Clinical Trial Evidence and Use of Fish Oil Supplements

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):460-462. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12765

Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with “hard” end points and meta-analyses of these trials should influence clinical practice because they represent the highest level of evidence. Health care behaviors based on less robust evidence are often established before such RCTs are conducted. If the results of high-quality RCTs contradict established practice, numerous barriers exist to their acceptance and implementation.1 ω-3 Fatty acid (FA) supplements are commonly used for the management of cardiovascular, neurocognitive, ophthalmic, and inflammatory disorders. In 2002, their use in the secondary prevention of heart disease was endorsed by the American Heart Association.2 Recently, their health effects have been studied in several RCTs and meta-analyses, many of which were reported in high-impact journals. Here, we report the relationship between these publications in influential journals and the use of ω-3 FAs.