New studies on fish oil, flu meds and gym

August 3, 2009 4:06:52 PM PDT
Should you take fish oil supplements? Do flu medications work? Are kids safe in gym class? These questions are answered in three separate studies and should be especially helpful for people curious about Omega 3 supplements or the effectiveness of flu medicine. In the study on fish oil, researchers found enough evidence for them to conclude people should be taking a fish oil supplement. It's well known eating salmon is very good for one's health and longevity as salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. That nutrient, omega 3, is found in supplements.

In the study, people who took the omega 3 supplements had a 30 percent reduction in heart related deaths when compared with those who did not take fish oil. There was also a 9 percent reduction in heart failure. As for the proper dose for Omega 3, more research is needed. But for now, researchers are recommending 500 milligrams a day for healthy adults and up to a thousand milligrams daily for people with known heart disease or heart failure.

And a study on how well commonly prescribed medications work in preventing the seasonal or standard flu if they are given for a month or more has found that medications, in particular Relenza and Tamiflu, will prevent flu symptoms even in adults infected by the virus. The researchers are hopeful that these findings will also apply to the h1n1 flu virus expected to infect more people this fall, an interesting but costly treatment.

"Because this is something that is a five-day course, twice a day?and it's pretty costly," said Dr. Tom Tallman with the Cleveland Clinic.

. And another study, this one on injuries during school gym classes, looked at emergency rooms records of children's injuries at nearly a hundred hospitals. It found injuries went up 150 percent between 1997 and 2007. It's not that kids are less fit for athletics said the authors, but more likely the injuires are the result of larger class sizes, fewer nurses in schools and untrained teachers supervising gym classes. It also found boys were more likely to get hurt from contact sports--getting more cuts and broken bones. Girls were more likely to get strains or sprains. Many health experts support a strong physical education program in the schools as obesity among children continues to grow.