Fish Oil Supplements May Boost Your Heart Good
Countless Americans soda a fish oil supplement every day, hoping to strengthen their heart health. Now, research indicates they are on the right path.
The up-to-date review of data from 13 earlier studies discovered daily omega-3 fish oil supplement use tied to a substantial lowering of risk for heart attack, according to a team headed by Dr JoAnn Manson. She’s a professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston.
Daily use of this supplement
Normally about 840 mg daily was also connected to a lower overall risk of dying from heart disease, the review found.
In total, the 13 studies involved data on over 120,000 adults. A sample size that’s 64% larger than any other yet conducted, the researchers said.
Even though the findings are encouraging, fish oil stays only 1 variable in heart health, Manson said in a school news release.
“Public health recommendations should concentrate on raising fish intake, obtaining a general heart-healthy diet. Being physically active, and with other healthier lifestyle practices,” she said. However, “this research suggests that omega-3 supplementation can have a part in appropriate patients.”
In general, Manson’s team concluded that people who took a fish oil supplement on a daily basis had an 8 per cent drop in their risk for heart attack or death due to coronary heart disease.
The study could not demonstrate that fish oil supplements directly caused improvements in heart health. In the end, people who take supplements may also be doing other things to enhance their cardiovascular systems.
However, the investigators pointed out that there was a”dose-response” connection in the findings: The more omega-3 fish oil that a person took in daily, the greater their defence against cardiovascular disease.
High Dose Supplementation
As a practical matter, that could indicate that”high-dose” supplementation. A daily regimen which surpasses the 840 mg threshold that is the topic of the majority of research — might be of greater benefit than lower doses.
There was one exception to these trends, however: No evidence was found to indicate that omega-3 fish oil helps to reduce stroke risk, the investigators reported.
Two specialists in heart health agreed that the supplement may help the heart, but should not be seen as a cure-all.
“Supplementation only mitigates the risk” for heart trouble, said Katrina Hartog, a clinical nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “As always, addressing the principal risk factors [for heart disease] may be of the best benefit to decrease the risk of developing chronic disease.”
But she said the new data should reassure Americans that fish oil does help.
Dr Guy Mintz directs cardiovascular health at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at Manhasset, N.Y. Reviewing the new study, he said: “there’s nothing’fishy’ here: This research is enlightening and strengthens the need for supplemental treatment options for patients at greater risk for cardiovascular events.”
How might fish oil be working its magic? According to Mintz, “the mechanism of benefit is unknown but may be due to an anti-inflammatory impact and or anti-arrhythmic effect.”
He considers that the supplements might be helpful for patients at known risk for heart disease.
Based on the new data review, “every doctor needs to have a talk with their patients at increased cardiovascular risk — such as diabetic patients, patients with cardiovascular disease, or patients with stents and a history of coronary artery bypass — to determine how the inclusion of omega-3 supplementation for an optimum dose could further reduce their risk for future cardiac events,” Mintz said.
The new research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and has been published online Sept. 30 at the Journal of the American Heart Association.