Omega-3 fatty acids, xanthophylls don't cut CVD risk

March 21, 2014
ω-3 fatty acids, xanthophylls don't cut CVD risk

(HealthDay)—Dietary supplementation with ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or macular xanthophylls do not seem to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older adults with age-related macular degeneration, according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Denise E. Bonds, M.D., M.P.H., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined whether supplementing diet with long-chain ω-3 or with macular xanthophylls was associated with the rate of CVD. A total of 4,203 participants from the Cardiovascular Outcome Study (aged 50 to 85 years) with in one eye, were recruited and randomized to receive daily supplementation with long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), macular xanthophylls (lutein and zeaxanthin), combination of the two, or matching placebos. Participants were followed for a median of 4.8 years.

The researchers found that there were 459 cardiovascular events that met one of the study definitions for a CVD outcome. There was no reduction in the risk of CVD or secondary CVD outcomes for DHA + EPA (primary outcome: hazard ratio, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.17) or lutein + zeaxanthin (primary outcome: hazard ratio, 0.94; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 1.15), in intention-to-treat analysis. There were no treatment group-related differences in or serious adverse events.

"Our results are consistent with a growing body of evidence from clinical trials that have found little CVD benefit from moderate levels of dietary supplementation," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Explore further: Supplement aids age-related macular degeneration

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