« Bullshit ».
incorporating the Omega-3 Index into trial designs by recruiting participants with a low Omega-3 Index and treating them within a pre-specified target range (e.g., 8%–11%), will make more efficient trials possible and provide clearer answers to the questions asked than previously possible.
This is very interesting, but I would like to point out a few key limitations in the study.
The authors are funded and employed by a supplement company. This is not damning in and of itself, but studies with financial interests in the results tend to be poorly designed or omit key limitations.
There is a significant difference in the strength levels of the groups, as measured by torque. The high omega group (>4 group) had 24h torque of 50Nm vs 38Nm in the low omega group (<4 group). This implies large differences at baseline as well, but these are not reported. Torque raw scores should be normalized through allometric scaling or at least by weight to be relevant, and this is not done. Nor do they report information such as height/weight of the subjects for the reader to make the judgement himself.
At 96 hours, the >4 group had increased it’s torque to 52Nm while the <4 group had increased to 42, almost twice the increase. This is not discussed but it could indicate a blunting of the training response by the >4 group. It is also likely due to the much greater strength levels in the >4 group.
Reporting of the statistical procedures performed are dodgy. They state they use t-tests or anova « as appropriate », but they do not say when they do the anova. They only state one related samples t-test result explicitly. Considering how many endpoints they examine and how many series of measurements they do, they really need to fully report the statistics.
They make statements about quality of life based off of the emotional stability index. This has not been demonstrated in healthy populations such as young college students. A better bet would have been a quality of life questionnaire, but this is probably a pointless measure in this research design.
There is no accounting for gender differences between groups. There is no attempt to account for any confounders at all either, a huge limitation.
The authors discuss one key limiation, the difference between groups in terms of o3 levels was simply not that big. Out of a 12 point scale, the groups scored averages of 3.94 vs 5.4. They do not discuss if this difference was statistically significant, but less than one SD seperates the groups so it’s unlikely that it represents a significant difference and very unlikely that it represents a meaningful clinical difference.
Bottom line, the study is poorly designed to answer the quetsions it poses with inadequate reporting of key elements for any meaningful interpretation of the results. The abstract is very favorable towards o3 supplementation, and the authors are sponsored by a supplement company that sells o3 supplements.