Life Extension Magazine®

Man checking heart rate after consuming food with omega-3 fatty acids

In the News: Nutrients Most Likely to Benefit Cardiovascular Health

Nutrients most likely to benefit cardiovascular health; higher omega-3 intake lowers diabetics’ mortality; curcumin for those with fatty liver disease; higher brain levels of vitamin D linked to better cognition.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in July 2023.

Nutrients Most Likely to Benefit Cardiovascular Health

A systematic review and meta-analysis identified three supplements—coenzyme Q10, the B vitamin folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids—as showing the greatest potential to lower cardiovascular disease risk, according to an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.*

Researchers reviewed 884 clinical trials that evaluated the association between 27 supplements and cardiovascular risk.

Among all the supplements’ outcomes examined, CoQ10 was associated with a reduction in mortality from all causes during the studies’ follow-up periods, folic acid was linked to a lower risk of stroke, and omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a decreased risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease events and cardiovascular disease mortality.

Other nutrients were also associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk, though not as great as the top three supplements noted.

Editor’s Note: Supplementation of some but not all micronutrients may benefit cardiometabolic health outcomes in diverse populations.

*J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Dec 13;

Higher Intake of Omega-3s Lowers Diabetics’ Mortality Risk

People with diabetes who had a higher intake of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA had a lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to diabetics whose intake was lower, a study published in Acta Diabetologica revealed.*

The clinical study included 4,854 diabetic participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2014. Mortality data were obtained through 2015.

During follow-up, 1,102 deaths occurred. People whose intake of EPA plus DHA was among the highest 20% of participants, at more than 122 mg per day, had a 25% lower risk of mortality from any cause compared to those whose intake of the fatty acids was among the lowest 20%, at 9.5 mg or less.

When the risks of all-cause mortality associated with EPA and DHA were analyzed separately, greater DHA intake emerged as significantly associated with lower mortality risk.

Editor’s Note: “…Adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids may prevent premature death among the population with diabetes,” the authors concluded.

*Acta Diabetol. 2023 Mar;60(3):353-362.

Curcumin Shows Benefits for People with Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease

Curcumin supplementation hasbeneficial effects in people with metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), an updated meta-analysis shows.*

Researchers studied 16 randomized controlled clinical trials andsix systemic reviews and meta-analyses that compared the effects of curcumin extracts or turmeric to a placebo or standard treatment in patients with MAFLD, a common cause of chronic liver disease that can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and cirrhosis.

Curcumin supplementation wasassociated with significant improvement in the liver enzymes AST and ALT, that are elevated in liverdiseases. This association was stronger for bioavailability enhanced forms.

There was also resolution and improvement of hepatic steatosis observed in the group that received curcumin as compared to placebo.

Editor’s Note: Significant improvement in liver fat and lower fasting blood glucose, body mass index, and total cholesterol were associated with curcumin supplementation in studies that assessed these factors.

*Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 10;13(1):5824.

Higher Brain Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Better Cognitive Function

Research findings published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia showed that higher brain concentrations of vitamin D were associated withbetter cognition.*

The cognitive function of 209 participants in the Rush Memory and Aging Project was assessed during the clinical study, and the individuals’ brain tissue was examined after their death.

Researchers found a 25%30% lower risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia at the last visit before death among participants who had higher levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels in the four regions of the brain studied.

Editor’s Note: No association was found between vitamin D levels and indicators of brain pathology, including amyloid beta plaque or evidence of strokes.

*Alzheimer’s Dement. 2022 Dec 7.