According to IBISWorld, millions of people are using dietary supplements for their purported health benefits, which is an industry of nearly $ 37 billion in the US as of 2021. However, a popular daily pill could cause serious problems for people who may not even be aware of the danger. According to a new study from the University of Georgia, fish oil can in some cases increase the risk of heart disease, depending on their genetic makeup. Read on to see what this could mean for you. For more information about supplements to avoid, see This Is The Only Vitamin You Should Never Take, Doctors Say.


A team of scientists from the University of Georgia studied the effects of fish oil on heart health by looking at four fats found in the blood: total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides. To do this, they used data on 70,000 patients and divided them into two groups: those who took fish oil supplements (around 11,000 patients) versus those who did not. Then they performed a genome-wide scan.

The results, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, showed that after 64 million tests there was a “significant variation” in the GJB2 gene. In patients with the AG genotype, intake of fish oil decreased triglycerides, while in patients with the AA genotype who took fish oil, triglyceride levels increased slightly. “High triglycerides can harden the arteries or thicken the arterial walls (atherosclerosis), which increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease,” explains the Mayo Clinic.

And for those worried about their tickers, read if you can’t do this in 90 seconds, Your Heart is at Risk, Study Says.

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Researchers say the results raise questions about the traditional daily use of fish oils, which contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which have long been considered helpful in maintaining a healthy heart.

“We have known for several decades that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.” Kaixiong Ye, PhD, the study’s author, said in a statement. “We’ve found that supplementing with fish oil isn’t good for everyone. It depends on your genotype. If you have a particular genetic background, supplementing with fish oil will help lower your triglycerides. However, if you don’t have the right genotype A fish oil supplement actually increases your triglycerides. “For more important information about pills, see The FDA has just issued a new warning about these OTC pain relievers.

Omega-3 fish oil supplementsShutterstock

While the results showed that some people did not get any health benefits from taking fish oil daily, the researchers point out that the results also shed new light on previous studies that found omega-3 fatty acids to be beneficial in the Promoting heart health are ineffective. “One possible explanation is that these clinical trials did not take into account the genotypes of the participants,” Ye said in a statement. “Some participants may benefit from it and some may not. So if you mix them up and do the analysis, you won’t see the effects.”

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Genetic testing paperworkShutterstock / Gopixa

Fortunately, figuring out if you have the right genetic makeup to benefit from a fish oil regimen isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The study’s authors suggest that results from readily available genome testing companies can provide raw data to customers. Although the specific variant is not yet included in most reports, you can search for the genotype with variant ID rs112803755 (A>) G).

“Personalization and optimization of fish oil supplement recommendations based on a person’s unique genetic makeup can improve our understanding of nutrition and lead to significant improvements in human health and wellbeing,” Ye concluded. For more information on other ways daily pills can affect your health, see If you can’t sleep, this common drug could be the cause, a study said.


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