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Fish Oil Supplements Linked to Increased First-Time Heart Attack Risk

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Taking fish oil supplements could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, a new study suggests.

Among healthy people, regular use of fish oil It was found to make them more susceptible to developing heart disease and stroke for the first time, according to the study.

However, among those who had existing heart disease, fish oil consumption was shown to slow the progression of the disease. cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of mortality.

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The researchers analyzed almost 12 years of data from more than 415,000 participants in the UK Biobank study; The participants ranged in age from 40 to 69 years.

“Regular use of fish oil supplements could be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation and stroke among the general population, but could be beneficial for the progression of cardiovascular disease from atrial fibrillation to major adverse cardiovascular events, and from atrial fibrillation to death,” the researchers said. he wrote in the study, which was published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal).

fish oil pills

Taking fish oil supplements could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke among certain people, a new study suggests. (iStock)

“Further studies are needed to determine the precise mechanisms for the development and prognosis of cardiovascular disease events with regular use of fish oil supplements.”

Study highlights ‘uncertainty’, says cardiologist

Dr. Jim Liu, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who was not involved in the study, said there has been conflicting data about whether fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. disease.

“This is yet another study that reminds us that there is still a lot of research to be done when it comes to fish oil and heart disease.”

“This study seems to echo the same sentiment that there is still some uncertainty about its relationship with heart health“he told Fox News Digital.

“Similar to previous studies“I think this study indicates that fish oil is not necessarily good or bad for everyone.”

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Whether fish oil is beneficial or harmful depends on each individual’s specific underlying health conditions, he said, such as a history of heart attack or atrial fibrillation, and other factors such as dosage and different formulations of the substance.

fish oil pills

“Further studies are needed to determine the precise mechanisms for the development and prognosis of cardiovascular disease events with regular use of fish oil supplements,” wrote the authors of a new study. (iStock)

“Previous studies have shown that certain fish oil formulations may help reduce cardiovascular events in people with elevated triglycerides and previous cardiovascular events,” Liu noted.

“Overall, this is yet another study that reminds us that there is still a lot of research to be done when it comes to fish oil and heart disease.”

Dietitians weigh risks and benefits

Tanya Freirich, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Charlotte, North Carolina, who practices as The Lupus Dietitian, was also not involved in the study but offered her insights.

“In this study, there was a slightly greater association between healthy people who took fish oil and developed atrial fibrillation and stroke, while for those people who took fish oil after being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, there was a slightly lower association and risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke,” he told FoxNewsDigital.

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“Overall, I would say to take these results with caution, since this is a prospective study.”

A prospective study monitors what people report and their eventual health outcomes over time, he noted, unlike a control study, where similar people are placed into two groups and one group takes fish oil while the other another does not.

“We don’t know about the population of healthy participants or why they decided to take fish oil,” Freirich said.

Woman eating salmon

A registered dietitian recommended that most people get omega 3s from food sources such as salmon, sardines, tuna, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and almonds. (iStock)

“They may have a family history of heart disease or other lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their risk of developing atrial fibrillation and stroke off the fish oil supplement.”

As a registered dietitian, Freirich recommends that most people get their omega 3s from food sources such as salmon, sardines, tuna, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and almonds.

“Making small changes to your diet over time can have big benefits in reducing your overall cardiovascular risk.”

“Many people don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, and this can be a great way to consume healthy fats while still benefiting from protein and fiber sources,” she said.

When preparing meals, substituting a serving of red meat for fatty fish can promote heart health by decreasing your intake of saturated fats and increasing your intake of omega-3s, according to Freirich.

Woman taking supplements

“Always discuss the use of supplements with your healthcare providers, as some may be unnecessary or even increase the risk of poor health outcomes,” one expert said. (iStock)

“Doing Small changes in your diet. over time can have great benefits in reducing overall cardiovascular risk,” he advised.

“Always discuss supplement use with your healthcare providersas some may be unnecessary or even increase the risk of poor health outcomes.”

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Michelle Routhenstein, a New York-based preventive cardiology dietitian at EntirelyNourished.com, agreed that previous research has indicated that taking high doses of fish oil supplements could potentially raise the risk of atrial fibrillation, while consuming fatty fish. regularly four to five times a week. can reduce that risk.

Heart doctor with patient

To determine the potential benefits of fish oil and the proper dosage, experts recommended consulting with a registered dietitian specializing in heart disease. (iStock)

“We need to recognize that when it comes to fish oil, and many other foods and supplements, a higher or concentrated dose is not necessarily better,” Routhenstein, who was not involved in the study, told Fox News Digital.

“It is also important to note that not all fish oil supplements are created equal. Factors such as dosage, quality, and additional ingredients can influence cardiovascular health. health outcomes“.

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To determine the potential benefits of fish oil and the proper dosage, Routhenstein recommended consulting with a registered dietitian specializing in heart disease.

Fox News Digital reached out to the study’s researchers for more details, as well as several fish oil supplement manufacturers for comment on the findings.

For more health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.

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