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Fish oil and vitamin D supplements are promising in the prevention of cancer death and heart attacks



  Fish oil

Upcoming presentation with updates on VITAL Clinical trial shows mixed results Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids protect against cancer mortality and myocardial infarction.

The VITamin D and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL) is the largest and most recent study that will test whether vitamin D or fish oil can effectively prevent cancer or not cardiovascular disease. The results so far are inconsistent, but show promising results, which are now confirmed by updated pooled (meta) analyzes. The latest results from VITAL will be presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) from September 25-28, 201

9 in Chicago.

Almost 26,000 US men and women participated in the nationwide VITAL clinical trial. After more than five years of study and treatment, the results show promising signals for certain results. For example, while omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) had little but no significant decrease in the primary cardiovascular endpoint of major CVD events, they were associated with a significant decrease in myocardial infarction. The greatest treatment benefit was observed in subjects with a diet of less than the cohort median of 1.5 servings per week, but not in subjects above those levels. In addition, African Americans seemed to experience the biggest risk reductions. The benefits for heart health are now confirmed by recent meta-analyzes of randomized omega-3 studies.

Similarly, vitamin D supplementation did not reduce major CVD events or overall cancer incidence, but was associated with a statistically significant reduction in overall cancer mortality at least two years in the trial. The effect of vitamin D in reducing cancer death is also confirmed by updated meta-analyzes of vitamin D studies.

"The findings suggest a complex balance between benefit and risk for each intervention, and highlight the need for additional research to determine which individuals are most likely to derive a net benefit from these supplements," says Drs. JoAnn Manson, lead author of the study from Brigham and Women's Hospital, a subsidiary of Harvard Medical School.

"With heart disease and cancer, the most significant health threats facing women, it is imperative that we continue to explore the viability of options that prevent these diseases and help women survive them," says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, Medical Director of NAMS.

Dr. Manson and Faubion will be available for interviews prior to the presentation at the Annual Meeting.


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