The UK Stroke Association noted that instead of focusing on fish oil, individuals should eat fresh foods that are low in salt and sugar, such as fruits and vegetables, and high in fiber, such as brown types of bread and pasta.

New research has linked regular use of fish oil supplements to lower risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as heart attack and stroke. The research published in the BMJ included approximately half a million people between the ages of 40 and 69 from the UK who participated in the UK Biobank Study

At the start of the study, 113,438 men and women in the database found that fish oil supplements are used regularly. Using death and hospital records, investigators examined the participants over a 9-year period and found that fish oil supplements had a 13% lower risk of death, a 16% lower risk of dying from CVD, and a 7% lower risk CVD events such as myocardial infarction or stroke were linked to CVD. 1

The results of the observational study could not indicate whether the fish oil supplements or other factors reduced the risk of stroke. However, the authors found that their analysis showed that the benefit was independent of factors such as age, diet, gender, lifestyle, medications, and other supplements

“Fish oil consumers were less likely to smoke and were more likely to be physically active and eat fatty fish. The authors tried to control these factors and cautiously concluded that fish oil was associated with lower all-cause and CVD mortality rates and had modest benefits in relation to CVD events, “said Alice H. Lichtenstein, PhD, DSc, MS, Stanley N. Gershoff, professor of food science and nutritional policy at Tufts University’s Friedman School in Boston, Massachusetts, said in an interview with CNN.2

The UK Stroke Association noted that instead of focusing on fish oil, individuals should eat fresh foods that are low in salt and sugar, such as fruits and vegetables, and high in fiber, such as brown types of breads and pasta. 3 The authors the study said that Further research is needed to investigate how the dose of fish oil supplements affects the ability to produce a clinically meaningful effect

REFERENCES

  • Li ZH, Zhong WF, Liu S. et al. Associations of habitual fish oil supplementation with cardiovascular outcomes and all cause mortality: evidence from a large population-based cohort study. BMJ. 2020; 368: m456. doi: 10.1136 / bmj.m456
  • Hunt K. Fish Oil Supplements Linked to Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Death Find Study Results. CNN. March 4, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/04/health/fish-oil-heart-wellness/index.html
  • Eat healthy. Stroke Association. Accessed March 9, 2020. https://www.stroke.org.uk/what-is-stroke/what-can-i-do-to-reduce-my-risk/eat-healthy-diet

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