Sunday February 17, 2019

Omega-3 Supplements do not Protect Against Heart Disease: Study

Intake of omega 3 fats (including EPA and DHA), primarily through supplements, probably makes little or no difference to risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities

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Food, high cholesterol
People who already have high cholesterol should perhaps be even more alert during the Christmas holidays

Taking omega 3 through food or supplements is likely to have little or no effect on our risk of experiencing heart diseases, stroke or death, a new study challenging previously held theories says.

Increased consumption of omega 3 — a type of fat normally found in plant foods like walnuts, rapeseed as well as in fatty fish such as salmon and cod liver oil — has been widely promoted because of a common belief that it will protect against heart diseases.

However, the findings, published in the Cochrane Library, showed that the risk of death from any cause was 8.8 per cent in people who had increased their intake of omega 3 fats, compared with 9 per cent in people who did not.

Intake of omega 3 fats (including EPA and DHA), primarily through supplements, probably makes little or no difference to risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart deaths, coronary heart disease events, stroke or heart irregularities.

“We can be confident in the findings of this review which go against the popular belief that long-chain omega 3 supplements protect the heart… we don’t see protective effects,” said lead author Lee Hooper from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Medicinal drugs rich of omega 3
Medicinal drugs rich of omega 3. Pixabay

“The review provides good evidence that taking long-chain omega 3 (fish oil, EPA or DHA) supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause.

“On the other hand, while oily fish is a healthy food, it is unclear from the small number of trials whether eating more oily fish is protective of our hearts,” Hooper said.

Eating more ALA — an essential fatty acid and important part of a balanced diet — through food or supplements probably decreases the risk of heart irregularities from 3.3 to 2.6 per cent.

Also Read: Omega-3 Fatty acids in Diet can Prevent Cancer From Spreading

However, the reductions are very small — 143 people would need to increase their ALA intake to prevent one person developing arrhythmia and 1,000 people to prevent one person dying of coronary heart disease or experiencing a cardiovascular event, Hooper said.

The study combines the results of seventy-nine randomized trials involving 1,12,059 people from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. (IANS)

Next Story

New Software Can Spot Potentially Lethal Heart Diseases

The incidence and prevalence of cardiac disease continues to increase every year. However, improvements in prevention and treatment require better understanding of electrical behaviour across the heart

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Cardiovascular Disease
stress cardiac MRI can not only diagnose heart disease, but can also predict which cases are potentially fatal. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new software that could spot potentially lethal heart diseases and may lead to improvements in prevention and treatment, says a new study.

The software – ElectroMap – which measures electrical activity in the organ, is a new open-source software for processing, analysis and mapping complex cardiac data.

The study showed that the heart’s pumping ability is controlled by electrical activity that triggers the heart muscle cells to contract and relax. In certain heart diseases such as arrhythmia, the organ’s electrical activity is affected.

Arrhythmia is improper beating of the heart too fast or too slow.

Heart disease
Stress cardiac MRI leads to fatal heart disease. Pixabay

“We believe that ElectroMap will accelerate innovative cardiac research and lead to wider use of mapping technologies that help prevent the incidence of arrhythmia,” said Kashif Rajpoot, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham Dubai.

“This is a robustly validated open-source flexible tool for processing and by using novel data analysis strategies we have developed, this software will provide a deeper understanding of heart diseases, particularly the mechanisms underpinning potentially lethal arrhythmia,” Rajpoot added, published in the journal, Scientific Reports.

Also Read- Samsung Aiming to Make Galaxy A Series a $4-bn Brand

The incidence and prevalence of cardiac disease continues to increase every year. However, improvements in prevention and treatment require better understanding of electrical behaviour across the heart, the study noted. (IANS)