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No evidence of omega-3 MS benefits

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There is no evidence to suggest fish oil supplements slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis, scientists have warned.

Many MS sufferers take capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids as a precautionary measure to reduce harm inflicted on their brain neurons, but now researchers in Norway say the pills have no beneficial effect on the disease.

The latest research, published in the Archives of Neurology, was conducted by Dr Oivind Torkildsen and his team at the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen.

They assessed 92 patients over an 18 month period, half of whom were medicated with omega-3 supplements, while the rest were given a placebo. MRI brain scans were used to measure the activity of the disease in each patient.

Observing the scans, the team said: “The results from this study did not show any beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on disease activity in multiple sclerosis as a monotherapy or in combination with interferon beta.”

The latest findings conflict with two previous studies which reported positive responses from MS patients taking omega-3 supplements.

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