Disease Prevention

Some fishy supplements?

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 1015-1016
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6418.1015-c

Fish, like these Pacific flatiron herring, are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

PHOTO: STEVE BLOOM IMAGES/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

More than half of the adult population in the United States consumes dietary supplements in the hope of staving off common, life-threatening diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and vitamin D are especially popular because animal studies and small observational studies hinted that they prevent heart disease and cancer. Manson et al. tested these supplements in a randomized placebo-controlled trial of 26,000 people 50 years of age and older. At a median follow-up time of 5 years, there was no evidence that the supplements provided health benefits; the incidences of cancer and cardiovascular disease in the supplement group were similar to those in the placebo group.

New Engl. J. Med. 10.1056/NEJMoa1809944, 10.1056/NEJMoa1811403 (2018).

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