Which supplement bottles do you see when you open your medicine cabinet? Maybe you have fish oil to reduce your risk of heart disease, probiotics to help maintain gut health, and vitamin D for a strong immune system. According to new research, these are Fish oil pills can actually be a waste of money.
A new study by scientists at the University of Georgia suggests that daily intake of fish oil can only be effective if you have the right genetic makeup. The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, included data from 70,000 people who participated in a large-scale cohort study called the UK Biobank, which collected genetic and health information from 500,000 participants.
In the sample, the researchers looked at four blood lipids – high-density lipoprotein (HDL, also known as healthy cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (LDL, also known as unhealthy cholesterol), total cholesterol, and triglycerides – all of which are biomarkers of heart disease. The most shocking finding was that a fishing supplement can increase the risk of heart disease in some people. (See Also: The 7 Healthiest Foods To Eat Right Now).
“We have known for several decades that higher levels of omega-3s in the blood are linked to lower risk of heart disease,” Kaixiong Ye, lead study author and assistant professor of genetics at the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, said in one Explanation.
“What we found is that Fish oil supplementation is not for everyone; it depends on your genotype“If you have a certain genetic background, fish oil supplementation will help lower your triglycerides. But if you don’t have the right genotype, Taking a fish oil supplement actually increases your triglycerides. “
The data sample was divided into two groups: those who took fish oil supplements (approximately 11,000) and those who did not. The researchers then performed a genome-wide scan for each group that tested 8 million genetic variants. 64 million tests later, the results showed a significant genetic variant of the GJB2 gene. Those who took fish oil and had the AG genotype saw a decrease in their triglyceride levels, whereas Those with the AA genotype who took the supplement had a slight increase in their levels.
Previous clinical studies have shown that fish oil is not effective in preventing heart disease, which Ye believes may have something to do with the lack of genotype consideration. However, this new study has identified a specific gene that can alter a person’s response to supplementing with fish oil.
“Personalizing and optimizing fish oil supplement recommendations based on a person’s unique genetic makeup can improve our understanding of nutrition,” Ye said in the press release, “and result in significant improvements in human health and well-being.”
In the meantime, why not stick to adding more heart-healthy fish like salmon and mackerel to your diet once or twice a week? Your heart could benefit from the omega-3s that are rich in these food sources. For more information, be sure to read these two supplements that may reduce your risk of heart disease, a new study says.