BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – This past Saturday, the Chicago Researchers' Association for American Heart Association announced two major studies of what is happening and who can not benefit from commonly used supplements to reduce cardiovascular risk. First of all, bad news: Fish oil and vitamin D, used by healthy people in many non-prescription medicines, apparently did not give rise to any clear health benefits. However, the good news is that the use of prescription medicines for people at increased risk associated with elevated triglycerides may be associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, albeit at a cost.
More precisely, in the first study, the use of Vascepa in combination with mineral oil in placebo was compared to 8,000 patients at a 5-year interval. The results reported by the New England Journal of Medicine and the Associated Press showed a reduction in heart-related deaths and stroke. The analysis of NNT data (how many patients are "needed to treat") showed that only 21 people should use this medication for five years to see one of these benefits, which is favorable compared to other NSA statistics for many medical interventions. However, monthly The average cost of this medication for 280 USD is a concern for many who may not have insurance. The cost of the drug for five years would be about $ 17,000.
The second study looked at an older drug that was sold as Lovaza or Omacor and proved to be less dramatic with a lower heart attack, but the experts were divided into consequences. Since the olive oil was given to the placebo group instead of mineral oil used in the Vascep study, the benefits may not have been so obvious. This second study also looked at vitamin D, in which participants participated in the 2000 units of fictitious tablets for five years. Unfortunately, vitamin D did not show any additional benefit to heart disease or stroke, but the number of deaths from cancer was very low. Since cancer can develop for several years, the authors of the study supported a longer study to determine this potential benefit. However, other experts, such as Dr. Clifford Rosen, who used to be in Bangor, now working in Mayen Medical Center, suggested that these effects be interpreted with caution.
So, what's the average informed healthcare consumer? If you have a diagnosis of elevated triglycerides, it is advisable to talk to your doctor about how to fix it. Of course, if you could handle it with a standard low-carbohydrate diet that was originally recommended for most patients, it would be not only cheaper but also probably safer in the long run. However, if this preventive intervention is not effective for you, you may be a candidate for this class of medicine. The rest of us may want to save dollars spent on a large amount of vitamin D or fish oil and use it better, for example, fishing trips in the Gulf of Mexico. You may get a lot of vitamin D from the sun (do not forget your block!) But with luck you can enjoy a delicious fish lunch and have more than just beneficial oils!