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Sebastian Rushworth MD: Does omega-3 prevent heart disease?

re: Sebastian Rushworth MD

Another nutritional myth appears to have succumbed.

However, there is good evidence that Omega 3 fats (in particular EPA) can have beneficial effects on brain function, according to Huberman Lab.

Does omega-3 prevent heart disease?

by Sebastian Rushworth M.D.., 1 August 2021. Emphasis added.

I have a confession to make. For at least the last ten years, I’ve taken an omega-3 supplement every day. Religiously. Why? I literally have no idea. I don’t remember exactly when or why I started taking it. Presumably I read somewhere that it was a good idea. This was before I started studying medicine, and the decision certainly wasn’t based on any thorough evaluation of the scientific evidence. So I figure it’s probably about time I actually take a look at the evidence, before I decide whether to continue spending hundreds of dollars a year on omega-3 supplements.

The most commonly claimed benefit when it comes to omega-3 is that it prevents heart disease. This dates back to the 1970’s, when it was noted that Inuit following a traditional diet rich in meat from whales and seals suffered from remarkably little cardiovascular disease. It was suggested that this might be due to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in meat from marine mammals. Of course, correlation is not causation, and I can think of several other major differences between the traditional Inuit diet and the standard western diet that could explain the lack of heart disease, such as the complete absence of sugar.


Increasing intake of omega-3 does not protect against heart disease. More importantly, it doesn’t appear to result in any improvement in longevity whatsoever. With that being the case, I’m going save myself some money and stop taking omega-3 supplements, at least until I see some real evidence of benefit.

WIND: too bad it’s not of value for heart disease and longevity. But almost nothing is a magic bullet. Of course there could be some benefit for something, but we don’t know that either. But pass the king salmon—I’d eat it 3X a week if it weren’t so darn expensive (twice a month is about my budget).

But should it be of any surprise that bad assumptions around diet are pretty much the rule in the medical profession, given the death of the cholesterol hypothesis and the injuries that statins continue to cause?

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