GOED’s Ismail: Critics cannot dismiss the totality of evidence for omega-3s with a single trial

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

The next few years could be a turbulent time for the omega-3 industry with results from several very large randomized control trials due to be published, but regardless of the results the totality of the evidence still supports significant benefits from omega-3 consumption.

So said Adam Ismail, the outgoing executive director of GOED (the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3), at the recent GOED Exchange in Seattle, WA. Ismail said it would be interesting to see how the industry reacts and adapts to the publication of results from the many clinical trials currently investigating the potential benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

“It’s going to be a very eventful next couple of years,”​ Ismail told us. “There are four very large randomized control trials that are going to be published and probably another dozen or two dozen moderately large randomized control trials that will hit the market within the next few years after that. It’s going to be a very turbulent time because a lot of these studies have design issues, so we don’t know what they’re going to show, and they will probably call into question some of the benefits of omega-3s.

“But at the end of the day we have the totality of the evidence to fall back on. I think that’s something that everyone who wants to criticize omega-3s tends to forget that there is this existing large body of evidence and you cannot just dismiss it with a single trial, no matter how large it is.”

GOED: A model for other nutrients to look at

Ismail also reflected on his last 11 years at the helm of GOED, and the successes of the omega-3 sector.

“The best area of collaboration that I have seen in this industry are on key issues like getting health claims approved and recommended intakes established, covering almost 2 or 3 billion people in the world today, so that’s a real sign of how the omega-3 sector collaborates,” ​he said.

“There have also been a few instances where certain types of omega-3 products got banned by different regulatory jurisdictions and the industry has always responded to those really quickly and managed to get those overturned.

“I think the industry has really shown what happens when you work together and I hope it’s a model for other nutrients to look at.”

For more comments from Ismail on the omega-3 industry’s “unlimited potential”, please click HERE​.

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