Sad Story of Fish Oil and Small Sample Sizes

Interesting, short post by Kevin Drum about fish oil, sample size, and publication bias:

The Sad Story of Fish Oil and Small Sample Sizes


“Small studies do a poor job of reliably estimating the effects of medical interventions. For a small study [snip] to get published, it needs to show a big effect — no one is interested in a small study that found nothing.”


“It’s still possible that fish oil has a slight beneficial effect, but it’s unlikely.”

Even if fish oil does not reduce all-cause mortality, it does not change my recommendations regarding DHA supplementation in vegans because it’s one thing to say that supplementing with DHA to increase DHA blood levels above average does not improve health, and another to say that there are no problems with having much lower than average DHA levels.

Thanks, Matt.

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