Supplementation with vitamin D and omega-3 did not result in a lower incidence of cancer or cardiovascular events compared with placebo, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The nationwide, randomized, placebo-controlled VITAL (VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL) trial included 25,871 Americans of various ethnicities who were older than 50 years and had no history of cancer, heart attack, stroke, or other forms of heart disease.
New research published in @NEJM shows that neither fish oil or vitamin D actually lowers the incidence of heart disease or cancer.
— Fred Hutch (@fredhutch) November 13, 2018
Participants were randomized to receive vitamin D 2,000 IU per day and omega-3 1 g per day or placebo.
During a median follow-up of 5.3 years, there was no significant difference in heart disease or cancer incidence between those taking supplements versus placebo. Cancer was diagnosed in 1,617 participants, including 793 in the vitamin D group and 824 in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.96; 95% CI, 0.88-1.06; P=0.47). There were 341 deaths from cancer. A major cardiovascular event occurred in 805 participants, including 396 in the vitamin D group and 409 in the placebo group (HR=0.97; 95% CI, 0.85-1.12; P=0.69).
I'm reading Fish Oil or Vitamin D Supplementation as Protection Against Cardiovascular Events or Cancer Suffers Deteriorating ‘VITAL’ Signs AHA 2018: Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) https://t.co/IhUo7RPx6I
— Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt (@DLBHATTMD) November 14, 2018
However, during the study, deaths from cancer were reduced by 25% for those who took vitamin D supplements. There was also a 28% reduction in heart attacks in those taking omega-3 supplements. There was a 77% reduction in heart attacks linked to omega-3 consumption for African-American participants. For those who did not eat the recommended weekly serving of fish, supplements were linked to a 40% reduction in heart attacks; however, this association was not observed for people who did eat enough fish.
RCT: Vitamin D Supplements and Prevention of Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease: "Supplementation with vitamin D did not result in a lower incidence of invasive cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo"https://t.co/G3KGl55iH8
— Ashkan Afshin (@aafshinmd) November 14, 2018
The researchers observed no excess risks of hypercalcemia or other adverse events.
Longer-term follow-up could provide additional information on these findings.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine