If you carry a heart ailment, there is no point taking low-dose Omega-3 fatty acid supplements as recent research suggests that these do not provide any additional protection against further cardiac trouble.

Scientists in Netherlands have further revealed that low doses of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), found in fish oil and alphalinolenic acid (ALA) found in nuts and vegetable oils provided any major health benefits to heart patients.

As part of the research, the scientists focused on patients who were taking medications to control cholesterol, blood pressure and stroke. It was thought that the poor performance of the supplements was reflecting the power of the medications the patients were consuming as part of their treatment.

The researchers focused on a group of 4,800 heart attack patients aged between 60 and 80 who were living in the Netherlands. More than 75 percent of this sample size was men and all had experienced a heart attack at some point in the decade leading up to the study and were taking the prescribed medicines.

When the study began, the patients were instructed to take one of four different types of margarines - one containing omega-3 fatty acids, one containing plant-derived ALA, one containing omega-3 fatty acids and ALA and one without any supplements. They were asked to take this for a period lasting three years.

The supplements added to the various margarines were deemed to be low-dose and during the study, each patient took 18.8 grams of margarine each day, which amounted to an ingestion of 226 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA omega-3 fatty acids and 1.9 grams of ALA.

At the conclusion of the study, it was found that nearly 14 percent of the patients had experienced another major cardiovascular event during the time frame and some had even died as a result. The low-dose supplements seemed to fail to ward off potential threats of heart attacks.

However, researchers found that among women who were getting ALA, there was a 27 percent reduction in the risk of further cardiac complications though the reduction did not quite amount to any statistical significance.

Daan Kromhout, who works for the division of human nutrition at the Wageningen University and co-authored the study, says that the bottom-line of the research is that omega-3 fatty acids do not reduce recurrence of major cardiovascular events. The result of the study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.