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Dietary supplements with fish oil and vitamin D do not protect against heart diseases

Dietary supplements with fish oil and vitamin D do not protect against heart diseases


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Do Diet Supplements Affect Heart Disease?

In recent years, there have been more and more contradictory statements about the effects of taking vitamin D or fish oil supplements on cancer or heart problems. Researchers have now found that dietary supplements containing vitamin D or fish oil really don't seem to have a positive impact on the risk of cancer or heart problems.

In their current investigation, scientists at Harvard Medical School found that dietary supplements containing vitamin D or fish oil do not protect against cancer or heart diseases. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "New England Journal of Medicine".

Dietary supplements are very popular

The new clinical study on dietary supplements and cancer or heart problems included almost 26,000 subjects. The researchers defined severe heart problems as a combined rate of heart attacks, strokes and cardiac death. The doctors were very interested to find out what nutritional supplements can really do because they are extremely popular with many patients. For example, a 2017 study found that 26 percent of Americans who were 60 and older take vitamin D supplements. Of these people, 22 percent take omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

Vitamin D did not affect cancer risk

The new study found that patients' vitamin D levels had no effect on cancer risk or serious heart problems. In this regard, the experts argue that there is no reason why people should carry out routine blood tests for vitamin D levels. Even people who started the study with a clear vitamin D deficiency had no benefit from taking the supplements that provided 2,000 international units daily. This amount corresponds to one or two of the vitamin D pills normally sold in stores.

Vitamin D tests are big business in the US

Vitamin D testing for commercial laboratories has become a huge business, the researchers say. Doctors in the United States ordered more than ten million vitamin D tests for patients in 2016. This represents an increase of 547 percent since 2007. The cost was $ 365 million. If there is no justification for these tests, they should no longer be carried out, the scientists claim.

Ingestion did not lead to any undesirable side effects

However, the doctors also stated that they could not find any serious side effects when taking fish oil or vitamin D supplements. If you're already taking fish oil or vitamin D, the results don't offer a clear reason to stop, the experts say. It could even be possible that taking the drug leads to other benefits. When investigating the effects on heart attacks, the scientists found that fish oil seemed to reduce the likelihood of heart attacks by 28 percent. As for vitamin D, it seemed to reduce the number of cancer deaths by 25 percent, but not the number of diagnoses. Splitting the data into smaller segments, with fewer patients in each group, can lead to unreliable results, however, the doctors say. The connections between fish oil and heart attacks and vitamin D and cancer death may be due to chance, the authors continued.

Vitamin D protects the bones

The experts agree that vitamin D is important for bone health. However, the researchers did not look at the effects on the bones in the current study. Instead, they investigated areas where the benefits of vitamin D could not be clearly demonstrated, such as cancer and heart disease. Although preliminary studies have shown that vitamin D can prevent heart disease and cancer, studies with strict guidelines have not been able to confirm these results.

Further data will be published

In the coming months, the scientists plan to publish evaluations of the effects of the dietary supplements on other health sectors, such as diabetes, memory, mental functioning, autoimmune diseases, respiratory infections and depression.

How to protect yourself from cancer and heart disease

People should continue to focus on known factors to reduce cancer and heart disease. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and exercise. Quit smoking, avoid high blood pressure, and take statins if you are at risk. (as)

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Video: Do Vitamin D Supplements Protect You From Heart Disease? (October 2022).