Saturday November 23, 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)

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Insufficient Sleep In Poor People Linked With Heart Disease

People with lower socieconomic have less sleep and are more prone to heart diseases

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Poor People
Poor people are likely to have an insufficient sleep and this may cause heart diseases. Pixabay

Insufficient sleep is one reason why poor people are more prone to heart disease, researchers have warned.

People with lower socioeconomic status sleep less for a variety of reasons: they may do several jobs, work in shifts, live in noisy environments, and have greater levels of emotional and financial stress, according to the study published in the journal Cardiovascular Research.

The study found that short sleep explained 13.4 per cent of the link between occupation and coronary heart disease in men.

“The absence of mediation by short sleep in women could be due to the weaker relationship between occupation and sleep duration compared to men,” said study author Dusan Petrovic, from the University Centre of General Medicine and Public Health, Lausanne in Switzerland.

“Women with low socioeconomic status often combine the physical and psychosocial strain of manual, poorly paid jobs with household responsibilities and stress, which negatively affects sleep and its health-restoring effects compared to men,” he said.

Heart Disease in Poor People
Poor people sleep less due to a variety of reason and this makes them prone to heart disease. Pixabay

The study was part of the Lifepath project, and pooled data from eight cohorts totalling 111,205 participants from four European countries.

Socioeconomic status was classified as low, middle, or high according to the father’s occupation.

A history of coronary heart disease and stroke was obtained from clinical assessment, medical records and self-report.

Average sleep duration was self-reported and categorised as recommended or normal sleep (six to 8.5), short sleep (six), and long sleep (more than 8.5) hours per night.

The contribution of insufficient sleep was investigated using a statistical approach called mediation analysis.

Also Read- Heartfulness Meditation Can Contribute to Cultivation of Gratitude Among People

The study estimates the contribution of sleep to an association between the socioeconomic status and the coronary heart disease or stroke.

“Structural reforms are needed at every level of society to enable people to get more sleep. For example, attempting to reduce noise, which is an important source of sleep disturbances, with double glazed windows, limiting traffic, and not building houses next to airports or highways,” he added. (IANS)