That is the reason why millions of people in different parts of the world resort to fish oil supplements.
Or seek to consume it naturally, in foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as spinach or fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon, trout, bonito, swordfish, turbot, mackerel, anchovy and herring.
It serves as a reference that at least 10% of Americans take omega 3 pills, according to the newspaper The New York Times.
But a recently published study says that taking these supplements does not reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes or coronary problems.
“There is no evidence to support this belief, it has been established over the last few decades, but it was based on studies that were not conducted with sufficient rigor,” said Lee Hooper, who participated in the research.
The professor of nutrition at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, explained how they came to that conclusion on the website The Conversation, which collects recent academic studies.
More than 100,000
The finding is based on the analysis of 79 clinical trials conducted previously.
The review, coordinated by the Cochrane scientific research center, was carried out at the request of the World Health Organization to establish the effects of Omega 3 supplements on the body.
“We evaluated the studies that lasted at least 12 months and in which the follow-up period ranged from one to eight years, and we analyzed the cases of 112,059 patients,” Hooper said.
According to scientists, fish supplements have no benefit (or detriment) to the heart.
So, where did the belief come from?
It all started with a study published in June 1971 in the scientific journal The Lancet.
In the 1970s, the habits of a group of 130 Eskimos living on the west coast of Greenland were analyzed by Danish researchers.
They performed several tests and found that their cholesterol and triglyceride levels were low, despite regular consumption of high-fat meat.
The diet of the Eskimos is very particular.
Due to the extreme climate of the Arctic, they can not grow fruits, vegetables or grains. They eat what they hunt, mainly in the sea: fish, seals and whales.
So the Danish scientists concluded that it was the diet of the Eskimos that explained the low incidence of heart attacks and the absence of diabetes mellitus in that population.
That was how the recommendation came about that fish consumption was good for preventing coronary heart disease.
And from that moment began the popularity of fish oil pills, which contains large amounts of Omega 3.