APS Logo Fish oil has been cited to have a range of health benefits in terms of memory and heart health. However, a new study conducted by scientists at the American Physiological Society (APS) has shown that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may not aid in treating heart failure.

About 11 healthy individuals with median age 66, which is usually when the diastolic function of the heart fails, were included in the trial. They consumed omega-3 supplements for a span of 12 weeks. Their heart functions were gauged using electrocardiograms.

As per the outcomes of the trial reported at the Experimental Biology meeting, the subjects did not seem to encounter diastolic improvements after consuming the pills. However, the team urged people not to discontinue their habit of consuming omega-3 supplements. This is primarily because they may still have certain beneficial effects on heart health.

“From a big picture standpoint, we know that consumption of fish and fish oil reduces cardiac disease risk and mortality. Just because omega-3 supplements may not improve diastolic function over 12 weeks in this population doesn’t mean that these nutrients don’t exert other important cardiac effects,” commented Kevin D. Monahan of the Penn State College of Medicine.

The diastolic function of the heart helps in relaxation of heart muscles and optimizes their blood flow. Fish oil appeared to show null benefits in this aspect, though it boosted other areas of cardiac function.

One thing to note is that diastolic dysfunction is one of the main indications of heart failure. It generally manifests into symptoms like severe tiredness and breathlessness.