In a new study, vitamin D and omega-3 (fish oil) show promise in prevention of cancer death and heart attacks. The study involved 25,871 people in the U.S., who took part in this 5-year clinical research, VITamin D and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL). Some participants took only vitamin D or fish oil; others took both; and some acted as the control by consuming neither supplement.
Although the results are mixed, they show promising outcomes in lowering the risk of cancer death and heart attacks. The findings showed that taking vitamin D was linked with a lower risk of dying of cancer in people of a normal weight, or a BMI of 18.5 to 25 on average.
Omega-3 fatty acids were meanwhile linked to a lower risk of heart attacks. The participants ate an average of 1.5 servings of fish per week, and those who ate less than the average appeared to benefit most from the supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fat that the body can’t make itself. Foods such as fish, vegetable oils, walnuts and other nuts, flaxseeds and leafy vegetables contain the nutrient which helps the body make certain hormones related to inflammation, the blood and heart.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, which are needed for building bone. It is estimated that 1 billion people have a vitamin D deficiency, especially those who live in northern part of the world. The sun helps your body synthesize vitamin D when your skin is exposed to direct sunlight for at least 15 minutes per day. You can also get vitamin D with certain foods, as well as in a supplement.
Before taking any supplement, consult with your primary health care practitioner to make sure it is right for you. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of fish oil and vitamin D, speak to one of our nutrition experts at Village Green Apothecary.
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