Does Fish Oil, Vitamin D Lower Risk of Cancer or Heart Disease?
Fish oil and vitamin D will be studied to see if either or both lowers a healthy person’s risk of developing cancer, heart disease or a stroke. Vitamin D deficiency is connected with higher rates of cancer, heart problems and/or stroke. Fish oil, or omega-3 fatty acid, are widely promoted for heart health.
The study will consist of 20,000 people with no history of heart attacks, stroke or a major cancer, women 65 or older and men 60 or older. Participants will be randomly assigned to take vitamin D, fish oil, both nutrients, or placebo pills for five years.
One quarter of the study participants will be African Americans. People with a dark complexion are unable to make much vitamin D from sunlight. A deficiency in vitamin D may help explain why African Americans have higher rates of cancer, stroke and heart disease. It may also explain why people from Northern regions, where the sunlight is weaker in the winter, are more likely to develop cancer.
The National Cancer Institute, along with other federal agencies, will sponsor the $20 million study. Pharmavite LLC of Northridge, Calif., will provide the vitamin D pills, and Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, will provide the omega-3 fish oil capsules.
For more information please see: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31491531/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/