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HHS Healthbeat

Hurting lungs

People in intensive care units with injured lungs need a lot of medical help. And there have been some research indications that popular supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants could offer it.

The idea was that the supplements could help reduce inflammation and improve patients’ ability to use oxygen. But when Vanderbilt University researcher Todd Rice and his colleagues tried it in a large study, things turned out differently:

``There was no benefit of these compounds in our patients in regards to days on a ventilator, days in the ICU, and even mortality.’’ (7 seconds)

Rice reported some indications the supplements could even make things worse. He doesn’t recommend their use in these patients.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at hhs.gov.

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