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Supplements: ‘Regular use’ of supplement linked to lower heart disease risk and longevity

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Research published in the British Medical Journal has said: “Fish oil supplements [are] linked to lower risk of heart disease and death.” Here are the details. An analysis from the UK Biobank study has found that “regular use” of fish oil supplements may be linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease events, such as heart attack and stroke. “Further studies should explore what dose is needed to achieve a clinically meaningful effect,” the researchers noted.

Evidence points towards the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil that could prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce mortality.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and heart rate.

However, “conclusive evidence is still lacking”, with more research needed on the subject matter.

The research analysis from the Biobank study, in particular, focused on 427,678 people between the ages of 40 to 69.

All participants upon enrolment (between 2006 to 2010) did not have cancer or cardiovascular disease when joining the research project.

Once signed up to take part in the scientific research, participants had to complete a questionnaire on supplement use, including fish oil.

Almost 31 percent of participants reported taking regular fish oil supplements at the beginning of the study.

“Death certificates and hospital records were used to monitor deaths,” the British Medical Journal verified.

This included from any cause, cardiovascular deaths, and cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke through to 2018.

The researchers found that fish oil supplements were associated with a 13 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Fish oil supplementation was also associated with 16 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

Furthermore, the same group also benefitted from a seven percent lower risk of cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke.

In a follow-up period of nine years, the researchers concluded that fish oil supplementation caused:

  • 388 fewer all-cause deaths
  • 124 fewer cardiovascular disease deaths
  • 95 fewer cardiovascular events per 100,000 people.

The researchers added: “The association between fish oil use and CVD events appeared to be stronger among those with high blood pressure.

“These favourable associations remained after taking account of traditional risk factors, such as age, sex, lifestyle habits, diet, medication and other supplement use.”

While there may have been a large sample size, this is an observational study.

As such, no cause can be established, therefore fish oil supplements are only associated with longevity.

Limitations of the research include lack of information on fish oil supplement dosage, duration of supplementation, and side effects of fish oil use.

Before taking any type of supplementation, it is best to speak to a doctor or pharmacist first.

This is to make sure that supplementation will not interact with any other medication you may be taking.

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