In a new study conducted by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) it was found that the potential of cardiovascular and cancer-related health risks could be reduced with the consumption of fish oil and Vitamin D.
VITAL, which stands for the Vitamin D and OmegA-3 Trial, is a study on ‘principal results for vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.’
In the past, research studies have shown that both vitamin D and fish oil were beneficial to heart health and cancer-related health and so researchers this time wanted to know more about this link between the two supplements and to the specific benefits it has on the two aspects of heart and cancer health.
Researchers gathered data from approximately 26,000 people who participated in the VITAL clinical trials. They found what is referred to as ‘promising signals’ in people who consumed vitamin D supplements and fish oil Omega-3 fatty acids in regards to certain benefits that related to heart attacks and cancer mortality. Particularly in the case of fish oil scientists found a distinct link between it and significant lowering in the number of heart attacks.
Researchers found that this benefit was highest in people who did not eat the recommended one and a half servings of fish per week but instead took the supplements. The researchers said that this was an indication that if people would get more fish in their diets it would be the same as supplementing with fish oil. What the researchers found too was that adding vitamin D and fish oil supplements to African-American diets which is usually lacking in fish, was significant in reducing the number of heart attacks in their lives.
Although vitamin D supplements were not associated with lowering the risk of developing cancer it did offer the benefit of significantly dropping the mortality rate from cancer for those participants who took them. The study showed that this potential benefit was found in people who participated in the trial for just a minimum of two years.
Researchers however, are cautioning people to not go out and purchase vitamin D and fish oil supplements and start taking them because although there benefits there are also risks linked to the different potential types for cancer and heart health intervention.
Dr. JoAnn Manson, the lead author of the study, says according to the pattern of the findings the complex balance of benefits versus risks suggests that there is further need for additional research to determine exactly which person would most likely get a benefit from taking vitamin D and fish oil supplements. It is always best to check with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements