Fish Oil Benefits: Lowers Heart Attack Risk

Some of the most commonly prescribed supplements, vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), were studied over a five year period to determine if their consumption had an impact on heart health and cancer. Since the two diseases are known to greatly affect women of all ages, the researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School, decided to analyze the correlation between supplementation and reducing the risks. 

Dr. JoAnn Manson, PhD, lead author, implied that the findings suggest a complicated web of benefits and risks derived from treatment using these supplements. She also said that more research is needed to accurately understand what kind of people could get the maximum benefit out of the supplements. The findings were presented at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Chicago between September 25 and 28. 

As with all the previous results, the latest meta-analysis, which is the largest study of its kind, called VITamin D and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL), confirmed that risk of cancer mortality and heart attacks was reduced. The number of participants were as many as 26,000 men and women in the U.S. However, despite treatment for five years, its promise was restricted to these areas.  

That is because fish oil consumption showed an insignificant reduction in several major cardiovascular events, except one. It was successful in reducing heart attacks more effectively. People who stuck to eating 1.5 servings of fish every week benefited in this way. It was also considered below the cohort’s average consumption level of dietary fish. 

Of the entire population, African-Americans benefited the most from this treatment. Another such meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials studying omega-3 fatty acids intake and reduced risk of heart disease had proved this before. 

Vitamin D supplements also did not have much of an effect on reducing major cardiovascular events including heart attacks and incidences of cancer. Rather, the supplement has statistically shown evidence of reducing the risk of total cancer mortality for participants in the study for a minimum of two years. Previous meta-analysis was confirmed by this longitudinal study. 

“With heart disease and cancer representing the most significant health threats to women, it is imperative that we continue to study the viability of options that prevent these diseases and help women survive them,” Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director, said in the press release.

Fish oil capsules Fish oil supplements reduce risk of heart attacks, a new study finds. Photo courtesy of Pixabay