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HHS HealthBeat (August 11, 2014)

Seniors, supplements and hearts

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study casts doubt on whether seniors benefit from commonly used supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, or lutein and zeaxanthin, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack.

Researcher Denise Bonds of the National Institutes of Health checked data from a study primarily intended to look at the eye condition age-related macular degeneration. She could also check heart risk, and she says:

“Giving omega-3 fatty acids didn’t reduce cardiovascular disease, and giving them lutein and zeaxanthin did not reduce cardiovascular disease.”

Bonds says seniors still benefit from foods having those compounds – fish with omega-3s, and green leafy vegetables with lutein and zeaxanthin.

The study was in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: August 11, 2014