Daily supplementation with omega 3 or vitamin D does not reduce the risk of significant cardiovascular conditions or cancer, according to the VITAL study, a clinical trial to estimate the real effects of Vitamin D and Omega 3 supplements carried out on about 26,000 healthy adults. The results were presented at the AHA 2018 congress and published simultaneously in the NEJM.
“Tthe intake of Omega 3 appears to have a slight impact on the incidence of myocardial infarction, while vitamin D would reduce cancer mortality in the longer term,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson from the Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, and the study’s leading author.
“Daily supplementation with a high dose of vitamin D for five years in initially healthy American individuals does not reduce the incidence of cancer or major cardiovascular events,” the researchers concluded.
In this randomized control study, Dr. Manson and his team included 25,871 healthy American adults with no history of cardiovascular disease or cancer but considered at risk because of their age.
Vitamin D and Omega 3 Supplements Do Not Reduce Risks Of Cardiovascular Diseases And Cancer
The participants were randomized double-blind, using a two-by-two factorial design protocol to provide an independent evaluation of Vitamin D and Omega 3 supplements.
In a first analysis focusing on the effects of Omega 3 supplements, 386 major cardiovascular events were reported in participants after a follow-up of about five years, compared to 419 events in the placebo group. The difference is not significant.
However, Omega 3 supplements managed to reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction by 28%, compared to the control group. On the other hand, there is no difference in cardiovascular mortality or risk of stroke.
The decrease in the risk of myocardial infarction was more significant among African-American participants (61%) and among individuals who also consumed less than 1.5 servings of fresh fish per week (40%). For those who consume more, the additional benefit disappears.