Vitamin D and Fish Oils are ineffective for preventing cancer and heart disease, but may have other benefits.

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Omega 3's and fish oils and vitamin D have been used for cardiovascular health and may also have other health benefits.  A new study is now showing that they do not prevent cancer and heart disease. On the other hand, there may be other benefits such as reducing the risk of heart attack. Statins which are heavily promoted and sold medically are said to reduce heart attack risk by 28 percent. Fish oil may do this or more, without the side effects of statins which can include muscle pain and liver problems.  There is also a risk with statins of early-onset Alzheimer's disease since the drug can starve the brain of cholesterol required for proper function. Omega 3's in large enough quantities help reduce pain and inflammation and are an alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that inhibit healing in damaged tissue. Check out this interesting NY Times article.

Vitamin D and Fish Oils Are Ineffective for Preventing Cancer and Heart Disease

The largest study to test vitamin D and omega-3 pills in healthy adults found they did little to prevent cardiovascular disease, but hinted at benefits for groups including African-Americans. In recent years, many Americans have embraced vitamin D and fish oil pills, their enthusiasm fueled by a steady trickle of suggestive research studies linking higher levels of vitamin D with lower rates of cancer and other ills, and fish consumption with reduced heart disease. Now a large and rigorous government-funded randomized trial — the only such study of omega-3 fish oils ever carried out in healthy adults, and the largest trial ever done of high-dose vitamin D — has found the supplements do not lower cancer rates in healthy adults. Nor do they reduce the rate of major cardiovascular events, a composite of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease. The trial is of the kind considered the gold standard in medicine. “It’s disappointing, but there have always been such high expectations that vitamin D can do all these different things,” said Dr. Clifford J. Rosen of the Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Scarborough, who was a co-author of an editorial on the studies in The New England Journal of Medicine. He said doctors had engaged in “magical thinking about vitamin D,” often testing their patients’ blood levels and advising them to take supplements. Read more