Beyond VITAL: 3 More Studies on D, Omega-3s?>

Beyond VITAL: 3 More Studies on D, Omega-3s

by Jamie Kopf  

Three meta-analyses published in 2019 added more insight about the effects of vitamin D or omega-3 pills on the risk of heart disease and cancer:

  • An updated meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at 13 clinical trials testing omega-3s in a total of more than 127,000 participants, including several large studies published in the last few years (VITAL among them). It found that omega-3 supplements, taken daily for an average of five years, were associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease, overall cardiovascular disease, heart attacks (but not strokes), and death from cardiovascular disease. The benefits increased as the dose of omega-3s went up.
  • A meta-analysis in JAMA Cardiology, which included 21 clinical trials with a combined 83,291 participants, found that vitamin D supplements did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes. Nor did they reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease or other causes.
  • In a meta-analysis in the Annals of Oncology, which included several newer clinical trials that tested higher doses of vitamin D than most previous trials did, people taking vitamin D had a significantly lower rate of cancer deaths—though the vitamin didn’t lower the overall incidence of cancer.

This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.