Wednesday December 12, 2018

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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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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Weight Lifting Proven Better Than Walking And Cycling To Keep Heart Diseases At Bay

For the study, the researchers included 4,086 adults aged 21 to 44 or over 45

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Weightlifting better than walking and cycling for heart: Study. Pixabay

While it is well known that physical activities promote heart health, a new study suggests that weightlifting, rather than walking and cycling, can better help keep heart diseases at bay.

The study showed that engaging in both static activities such as strength training and dynamic activities like walking and cycling was associated with 30 to 70 per cent lower rates of cardiovascular disease risk factors.

But, the associations were strongest for strength training among youth than older adults.

“Both strength training and aerobic activity appeared to be heart healthy, even in small amounts, at the population level,” said Maia P. Smith, Assistant Professor at St. George’s University in Grenada.

“However, static activity appeared more beneficial than dynamic,” Smith added.

Lift Weights
Lift Weights. Pixabay

Further, the researchers suggested that clinicians should counsel patients, especially the elderly, to exercise regardless of activity types as patients who did both types of physical activity fared better than patients who simply increased the level of one type of activity.

“The important thing is to make sure they are engaging in physical activity,” Smith said.

The findings were presented at the ACC Latin America Conference 2018 in Peru.

Also Read- Xiaomi Drops Down Smartphone Prices in India

For the study, the researchers included 4,086 adults aged 21 to 44 or over 45.

The team analysed cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol, as a function of self-reported static and/or dynamic activity. (IANS)