NPA Defends Omega-3 Supplements in Response to Study

Nation’s Largest Trade Association for Natural Products Challenges Weak Conclusion

Published Thursday, July 11, 2013
by Lauren Cohen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the leading representative of the dietary supplement industry with more than 2,000 members, including suppliers and retailers of vitamins and other dietary supplements. Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Cara Welch, Ph.D., and NPA CEO and Executive Director John Shaw comment on a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that suggests omega-3 intake can increase the risk of prostate cancer:

Cara Welch: “It’s imperative to stress here that correlation does not equal causation, and this study only discusses a correlation.

Simply put, there is nothing in this study that raises any red flags for NPA. We welcome the Journal of the National Cancer Institute to continue publishing research on the health effects of omega-3s because we're confident the benefits outweigh risks. Additionally, the authors' jump to blaming supplements for these results is irresponsible, at best, when the study didn't include any information about how the omega-3 intake was achieved. Consumers should continue to feel comfortable taking their omega-3 supplements.”

John Shaw:
“Omega-3 supplements are used every day by consumers all across the country who wish to reap the crucial health benefits these products provide. From promoting heart health to assisting in prenatal care, the benefits of omega-3s are numerous.

If our diets are lacking in essential nutrients, supplements are an excellent way of ensuring we’re meeting our bodies’ nutritional requirements. NPA encourages those interested in starting a new dietary supplement to discuss doing so with their health care professional.”

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