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Table 1 Meta-analyses of the effects of randomised placebo-controlled trials (RPCTs) with EPA and DHA supplementation on cardiovascular and cognitive health

From: Omega-3 nutraceuticals, climate change and threats to the environment: The cases of Antarctic krill and Calanus finmarchicus

Meta-analysis Health field RPCTs analysed Author’s conclusions
Rizos et al. (2012) Cardiovascular Health 20 Omega-3 PUFA supplementation was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association
Aung et al. (2018) Cardiovascular Health 10 Omega-3 fatty acids had no significant association with fatal or nonfatal coronary heart disease or any major vascular events. It provides no support for current recommendations for the use of such supplements in people with a history of coronary heart disease
Abdelhamid et al. (2020) Cardiovascular Health 86 Moderate- and low-certainty evidence suggests that increasing LCn3 slightly reduces risk of coronary heart disease mortality and events, and reduces serum triglycerides (evidence mainly from supplement trials)
Brainard et al. (2020) Cognition in healthy adults 38 Long-chain omega-3 probably has little or no effect
on new neurocognitive outcomes or cognitive impairment
Shulkin et al. (2018) Childhood psychomotor and visual development 38 n–3 PUFA supplementation improves childhood psychomotor and visual development
Chang et al. (2018) ADHD 7 We provide strong evidence supporting a role for n3-PUFAs deficiency in ADHD, and for advocating n-3 PUFAs supplementation as a clinically relevant intervention in this group, especially if guided by a biomarker-based personalisation approach
Liao et al. (2019) Depression 26 Current evidence supports the finding that omega-3 PUFAs with EPA ≥ 60% at a dosage of ≤ 1 g/d would have beneficial effects on depression. We note that the long-term efficacy and health effects of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in depression have yet to be elucidated
Deane et al. (2019) Depression and anxiety 31 Long-chain omega-3 supplementation probably has little or no effect in preventing depression or anxiety symptoms
Canhada et al. (2018) Alzheimer’s disease 7 The effects of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in mild AD corroborate epidemiologicalobservational studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in disease onset, when there is slight impairment of brain function
Burckhardt et al. (2016) Dementia 3 We found no convincing evidence for the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA supplements in the treatment of mild to moderate AD