According to a recent study, taking omega-3 and vitamin D supplements lower the risk of cancer and heart attack. The study has raised a new debate about the benefits of supplements.
This research study included 25,871 Americans that took part in the omega-3 and vitamin D clinical trials for 5 years. The participants were divided into 4 groups. One of the groups took vitamin D. The second group of participants took fish oil.
The third group took both of the supplements. While the last group took neither vitamin D supplement nor fish oil.
Findings of the recent study
The findings showed the association between vitamin D supplementation and the reduced risk of dying of cancer. The results were obtained from participants with normal weight or BMI ranging from 18.5 to 25 on average.
On the other hand, participants who took omega-3 supplements showed a reduced risk of a heart attack. Each participant, on average, ate 1.5 serving of fish weekly. However, some of them ate a little less than the average fish serving and showed more benefits from the supplements.
The researchers presented the results at the 30th annual meeting of the NAMS (North American Menopause Society). However, they are not published in any peer-reviewed journal yet.
JoAnn E. Manson was the first author of the research study. She told that the results of the study showed a complex balance between the risks and the benefits. The balance is for taking either omega-3 or vitamin D supplement.
However, these findings have raised a new point in the debate about omega- 3 supplements’ benefits. In the previous year, a different study found entirely different results. It included data from around 112,000 individuals.
It showed no reduction in an individual’s risk of dying due to any cause but taking fish oil. The cause of death included stroke and heart attack as well.
Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids. We should take them through diet. They are present in fish and fish oils, vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
Benefits of omega-3 and vitamin D
Omega-3 helps the body in reducing inflammation. They also help in the production of certain hormones related to heart and blood. According to the American Heart Association, fish oil supplements may reduce the risk of dying due to a heart attack. However, the intake does not prevent heart disease.
Kris Etherton said that people today are not taking the recommended amount of omega-3. They should eat fish in the first place. However, in case of deficiency, they can take supplements as well.
On the other hand, vitamin D helps the body in absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus in bone. The body keeps the minerals in blood and bone in a definite proportion.
Today, about 1 billion people have vitamin D deficiency globally. People should expose themselves to sunlight and consume fish for vitamin D.
Katie Patrick commented that no supplement is better than a well- balanced healthy diet. However, people at risk of vitamin D deficiency may consider taking the supplement regularly. The risk group includes young children, dark people and elderly.
Anyhow, consultation to a dietitian for starting a supplement use is always necessary.
Eating fish consistently has shown a reduction in the risks of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. These risk factors ultimately lead to heart diseases.