Fish oil benefits may outweigh risk of heart disease and cancer
The benefits of fish oil may outweigh the risk of developing heart disease or cancer, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The researchers studied 1,081 people who took fish oil supplements, some of whom had had their heart disease, while others had not.
Fish oil supplements were associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease, according with a summary of the research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.
“In summary, there is some evidence that fish oil can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and may reduce the risk for cancer,” said Dr. Sarah Wojcicki, one of the researchers involved in the study.
The study was published in Environmental Science and Technology.
The findings came from a systematic review of nearly 1,500 randomized clinical trials looking at the effects of fish oils on health.
In the trials, participants who took a daily dose of fish-oil supplements had lower odds of having a heart attack, stroke or death than those who did not take fish oil.
Fish oils are rich in fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which help to lower blood pressure and help lower blood sugar.
Fish-oil users also have a lower risk of chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD), hypertension and stroke.
In addition, the study showed that fish-sourced fish oil was associated with lower risk for type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
The results are a “strong indication that fish is a safe and effective way to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Wojcek said.
The fish-based diet is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help to reduce blood pressure.
A study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that a fish-derived diet is linked to a lower incidence of coronary artery disease, or CHD.
Another recent study showed the benefits of taking fish oil with a low-carbohydrate diet.
The American Heart Institute has not responded to multiple requests for comment about the results of this study.
However, it’s important to note that there is no evidence that the fish oil diet is unsafe, said Dr, Michael B. Antonucci, a cardiologist and professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
“The amount of fish in fish oil is not a risk factor for heart disease,” he said.
“There is also a small risk that fish intake might not be optimal, especially for older adults who have high blood pressure or other risk factors.”
The results also need to be taken with a grain of salt, Dr. Antonucco said.
While fish oil has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, there are still questions about whether it actually helps.
“It is important to point out that our study has limitations, particularly regarding the quality of the fish,” he noted.
“Although the overall results are positive, we cannot say for certain that fish consumption lowers the risk.”
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