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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
General Health Channel
Reported November 20, 2012

Medical Study Through the Mail

DETROIT, MI (Ivanhoe Broadcast) Could supplements you buy over-the-counter help reduce some of the deadliest medical problems we face? Harvard-affiliated researchers are conducting one of the largest studies of its kind to find out, and they want your help. But don’t worry. You don’t have to go anywhere. Everything you need is delivered right to your door.

Found in sunshine, it’s known for strengthening bones.

"There are a lot more people than know it that are deficient in vitamin D," Stacy Bursuk told Ivanhoe.

In salmon, nuts, and seeds -- omega-threes could keep your heart healthy and your mind sharp. Two-time U.S. memory champ Nelson Dellis says they were key in his back-to-back wins.

Now, researchers want to know what happens when vitamin D and omega-three dietary supplements are combined.

Doctor Raj Shah says some studies show vitamin D and-or omega threes may help prevent heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

"We don’t know whether these treatments, omega 3 or vitamin D, really do help prevent these conditions," Dr. Shaw told Ivanhoe.

These pills will help experts figure out benefits and risks. It’s all part of the vital study. Researchers are looking for 20,000 people nationwide to take these supplements every day for five years. Participants get packets by mail once a month.

Study directors are targeting men age 50 and up and women 55 and older and are putting a strong emphasis on African Americans.

"Because there’s some thoughts in the African American community that they’re at more risk for developing things like heart attack, stroke, or cancer, and they tend to have lower vitamin d levels," Shaw said.

The vital study will also look at the effects of vitamin D and omega threes on other health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, memory loss, depression and macular degeneration.

For additional research on this article, click here.

Sign up for a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs called First to Know by clicking here.


Karen Graham
Rush University Medical Center
(312) 942-6118


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