Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death worldwide and the U.S. loses one person every 37 seconds due to it. A new study pointed out that regular consumption of fish oil supplements might be associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular events including stroke and heart attack.

Fish oil has been a very popular supplement in several developed countries but there was no evidence to prove that it can help prevent CVDs or reduce mortality. Thus, the research team that included experts from China and the U.S. sought to analyze the same. They collected data from the U.K. Biobank which included data of more than half a million British men and women.

The analysis comprised of 427,678 men and women in the age group 40-69 years without cancer or CVD. They monitored all-cause mortality and CVD deaths and events via death certificates and hospital records. About 31% of them reported taking fish oil supplements on a regular basis.

Key findings of the study:

Regular consumption of fish oil supplements (when followed up for about 9 years) was linked to the following:

  • 13% reduced risk of all-cause mortality
  • 16% reduction in risk of CVD mortality
  • 7% lower risk of CVD events such as stroke, or heart attack
  • 124 fewer CVD deaths
  • 295 fewer CVD events per 100,000 people
  • The benefits were stronger among those with hypertension

The above-mentioned associations remained unchanged even after including the traditional risk factors including age, sex, lifestyle habits, diet, and use of other medications and supplements. The findings remaining unchanged even post further analysis infer that the findings withstand scrutiny, mentioned MedicalXpress.

“These findings indicate that habitual use of fish oils is associated with a marginal benefit for CVD events in the general population, supporting their use for the prevention of mortality from all causes and CVD. Future studies are needed to examine the extent to which the dose of fish oil supplements influences the ability to achieve a clinically meaningful effect,” concluded the study published in the British Medical Journal.

capsule-1079838_1920 Fish oil supplements Photo: stevepb, Pixabay