A biochemistry professor at Memorial University says recent studies that question the benefits of taking fish oil supplements should not discourage people from taking them.

Fereidoon Shahidi has been studying omega-3, the fatty acid found in fish oil and seal oil, for more than 30 years. He has pored over hundreds of studies and authored dozens of his own.


Recent studies have questioned the benefits of omega-3 supplements. (CBC)

"I would not go through the hype in the media or a few studies that have come," said Shahidi. "We have tonnes of studies that have shown the benefits."

The new studies have not denied the benefits of naturally occurring omega-3's. Instead, they have questioned the benefits of taking them in supplement form.

Studies raise questions, says Shahidi

Shahidi said some studies, such as the one done on thousands of subjects in Greece, raise more questions than they answer.

"Maybe there's an affect of the background diet that they're having and those people because of their ethnicity are not benefiting from the omega-3," said Shahidi.

Shahidi's wife has been taking omega-3 supplements for arthritis, and he has been taking them for a heart arrhythmia.  

"I have found in the past 10 years that I've been taking fish oil and seal oil, I have not had the severity of the arrhythmia that I was facing before. It has worked for me." stated Shahidi.

Researchers have said omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken by eating two to three servings per week of a fatty fish such as salmon.