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Heart Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements in Doubt

A review of the latest studies finds no conclusive evidence that fish oil supplements help people hoping to prevent another heart attack or stroke. It also remains unclear if fish oil provides cardiovascular benefits for healthy individuals. Find out what people concerned about heart disease should do, the other potential benefits of fish oil supplements, and our tests of supplements on the market in the updated Fish Oil Supplements ReviewMore >>

Fiber Benefits

Higher fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of many major diseases in a recent study. However, the average American consumes far below the recommended daily intake of fiber. As oats are a good source of fiber, we’ve added details from the new study in the "Benefits" section of the Oat Cereals Review. (Also see our Top Picks oat cereals.)

Mediterranean Diet Study Retracted

A landmark study about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet was retracted and republished this week. Does this change what we know about the benefits of extra virgin olive oil? Find out in the Cardiovascular Disease section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review. (Also see our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils.)

Fish Oil Benefit Questioned

There are many potential benefits from supplementing with the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, but the most widely-touted benefits -- reducing the risks of heart disease and stroke -- are now in doubt. Read about the latest studies in the update to the Fish Oil (EPA & DHA) Supplements Review, which includes our product tests and quality ratings. More >>

How To Get Vitamin K From Food

Many of the benefits of vitamin K - such as proper blood clotting and calcium utilization for bone and heart health - are associated with getting adequate vitamin K from foods. The good news? Brand new research has found much higher amounts of vitamin K2 (the form associated with cardiovascular benefits) in dairy foods than previously known. However, the amounts vary tremendously depending on whether these foods are full-fat, or reduced-fat or fat-free. Get the details in the "Vitamin K from food" section of the Vitamin K Supplements Review. If you're interested in a vitamin K supplement, see our Top Picks among brands.

Fish Oil During Pregnancy

Does taking fish oil during pregnancy lead to cognitive benefits in children? Find out what a recent study showed in the What It Does section of Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for fish oil.

Avocado Oil Quality Problems Confirmed

Recent tests confirmed the finding that many avocado oils in the U.S. market contain other, cheaper oils, as reported last year. See the details, by brand, and expert tips for consumers in our answer to the question: What are the health benefits of avocado oil? Is it healthier than olive oil? Which avocado oils are best?

Popular Probiotic -- What's In a Name?

Does the popular probiotic VSL#3 contain a different formula than used in the clinical studies supporting its benefits? Find out in the What to Consider When Buying section of the Probiotics Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for probiotic supplements.

Creatine for Older People

Creatine may boost the benefits of resistance exercise for older people, according to recent studies. For details, including dosage, see the What It Does section of the Creatine Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for creatine.

"Whole Grain" Is Not Enough

Not all "whole grain" products are equal when it comes to minimizing swings in blood sugar, according to a new study. Get the details in the Benefits section of the Oat Cereals Review. Also see our Top Picks among oat cereals.

Melatonin During Chemotherapy?

Does melatonin improve sleep quality and have other benefits during chemotherapy for breast cancer? Find out what a recent study showed in the What It Does section of the Melatonin Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for melatonin.

Fish Oil for Arthritis?

Fish oil has shown modest benefits in rheumatoid arthritis, but can it help with osteoarthritis -- inflammation due to worn joints? Find out what a recently published study showed in the What It Does section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for fish oil.

When to Eat Protein

The timing of protein intake during the day was associated with greater reductions in abdominal fat and BMI (body mass index) among people engaged in exercise programs in a recent study. The timing of protein intake can also improve the likelihood of muscular benefits. For details, see the When to Take section of the Protein Powders and Drinks Review. Also see our Top Picks among protein products.

Tart Cherry for Gout?

A clinical trial checked whether or not tart cherry would reduce the number of flare-ups in people with gout. Find out if it helped in our answer to the question: What are the health benefits of tart cherry juice?

Tea & Heart Disease

Another study shows that people who drink tea are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Find out how much and what type of tea was associated with benefits in the Cardiovascular disease section of the Green Tea Review. Also see our Top Picks for green tea.

Stevia vs. Sugar for Hunger Suppression

How does the non-caloric sweetener stevia compare to sugar in suppressing hunger before a meal? Find out in our updated answer to the question: What are the health benefits of stevia? Is it safe?

Fish Oil and Heart Disease

Many studies have assessed the potential benefits of taking fish oil supplements. Results have been conflicting, but one of the largest and longest-term studies was recently published. See what it found in the What It Does section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our general recommendations for using fish oil for heart health and check out our Top Picks for fish oil supplements.

Is Expired Green Tea Safe?

We were asked if it is safe to use green tea past its "best by" date and if its flavor or health benefits would be diminished. See our answer in the How to Use section of our Green Tea Review. Also see our Top Picks for green tea — including tea bags, loose tea, matcha, and green tea supplements.

Curcumin May Help in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Curcumin (from turmeric) has a range of potential benefits. A recent study suggests it may also help with rheumatoid arthritis. The study used the same curcumin ingredient in some products tested for quality by ConsumerLab.com. Get the details, plus our quality ratings of curcumin supplements, in the updated Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review >>

Red Yeast Rice with Sterols?

It is well known that taking a red yeast rice supplement can cause large reductions in LDL "bad" cholesterol and that sterol or stanol esters can lead to modest reductions. But does combining them result in greater benefits than using either alone? A new study says no. It's unclear, however, whether this is always the case. Get details in the updated Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>. Also see the updated, Cholesterol Lowering Supplements Review >>

Vitamin C Blunts Exercise Benefits

If you are trying to build muscle with resistance exercise, go easy on vitamins C and E, according to a recent study. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review.

Tart Cherry for Soreness After Exercise?

Can tart cherry juice improve muscle recovery and reduce soreness after exercise? See what a new study found in our update to the question: What are the benefits of tart cherry juice?

Vitamin D Sweet Spot

Having the right blood levels of vitamin D has many proven benefits, but too little and too much vitamin D can be problematic. A new study shows this also to be true in people with diabetes with regard to a type of nerve damage that can affect blood pressure and heart rate. For details see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Does Tart Cherry Improve Memory?

Can tart cherry juice improve memory and cognitive function? See the results of a recent study in our full answer to the question: What are the benefits of tart cherry juice?

Fish Oil for ADHD?

Evidence is emerging that some ADHD patients may derive limited benefits from supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids. Get the details in the ADHD section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for fish oil.

Many Benefits of Magnesium

An analysis of studies involving more than one million people found that rates of stroke, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and death were lower when intakes of magnesium were higher. For details see the "What It Does" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

Does Tart Cherry Juice Help?

A recent clinical trial investigated the effects of Montmorency tart cherry juice on blood sugar control, markers of inflammation, and the gut. Find out if it helped. See our updated answer to the question: What are the benefits of tart cherry juice?

When Magnesium Doesn't Seem to Help

Getting the recommended amount of magnesium has been associated with bone benefits. However, there was an increased risk of hip fracture among people who used a particular form of magnesium, according to a recent analysis. Get the details in the What It Does section of the Magnesium Supplements Review. Also see our Top Pick for magnesium.

Fatty Liver and Vitamin D

A recent study showed that it is difficult to raise vitamin D levels in some people who have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease -- a condition affecting 30% of Americans. This is concerning, as there may be benefits to raising low levels of vitamin D in such people. Learn more in the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

Growth Hormone Supplements -- Do They Help?

Some supplements promise to raise your level of Human Growth Hormone (hGH) and provide extraordinary benefits, but do they really help? We reviewed the science behind these products, including SeroVital-hgh, which was the subject of a recent clinical trial. Get the details in the updated article on Growth Hormone Supplements >>

Can Resveratrol Help Control Blood Sugar?

A new clinical study suggests potential benefits for people with type 2 diabetes taking one of the resveratrol products evaluated by ConsumerLab.com. Get the details in the latest update to ConsumerLab.com's Resveratrol Supplements ReviewMore >>

Green Tea "Blocks" Beta-Blocker

A new study shows that drinking green tea can drastically reduce the amount of a beta-blocker (nadolol, Corgard) absorbed into the bloodstream. Beta-blockers are typically taken to lower blood pressure, raising concern for people using green tea along with this beta-blocker and, possibly, related medications. Get the details, along with our tests of green tea drinks and supplements, in the update to the Green Tea Review >>   

If you take a beta-blocker (which includes the popular drugs metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol) and propranolol (Inderal)), be aware that chromium and CoQ10 may offer benefits.

Resveratrol Blunts Benefits of Exercise

A new, small study adds to the evidence that resveratrol may interfere with the positive effects of exercise. Get the details, plus evidence regarding other uses for resveratrol and our tests of products, in the updated Resveratrol Supplements Review >> 

More Cocoa Benefits

A recently published study showed that hot cocoa made with a flavanol-enriched powder resulted in improvements in cognitive performance as well as reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol, and improved glucose metabolism. The study was conducted in people ages 65 to 80 who drank the cocoa each morning. More details, as well as our tests of cocoa powders, are found in the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review >> 

Probiotics Might Reduce Risk of Depression

After taking a probiotic daily for 4 weeks, people in a recent study were less likely to have negative thoughts in response to sadness -- a predictor of whether or not sadness turns into depression. This adds to a growing body of preliminary studies suggesting benefits of probiotics in anxiety and depression. For details, including the type and dose of probiotic used, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >> 

Probiotic May Aid Fat Loss

A recent study in overweight men and women showed a small decrease in fat among those taking a probiotic for 12 weeks. Other small studies have shown similar benefits using different probiotics. More details, along with our reviews of probiotics containing organisms similar to those in these studies, are found in the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Does Cocoa Benefit Some More Than Others?

A recent study of natural cocoa taken daily showed potential cardiovascular benefits -- but they seemed greater for some people than others. See the details in the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review >>

Cocoa Increases Blood Flow to Brain

A small study found that drinking a cocoa drink high in flavanols significantly increased blood flow to the brain, which, the researchers propose, might have potential cognitive benefits. Get the details, including dosage, plus more about cocoa and memory, and our tests of popular products, in the Cocoa Supplements and Dark Chocolate Review >>

Cardiovascular Benefits of Cocoa Flavanols

A drink rich in cocoa flavanols modestly improved certain measures of cardiovascular health in healthy, middle-aged men and women, according to a recent study. Get the details, including dosage, plus our tests of popular products, in the Review of Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements >>

Does Green Tea Improve Memory?

This week, news sources reported that a study found green tea helps working memory. While green tea may have benefits, a closer look at this study suggests the news was exaggerated and misleading. For details about the study (and information about other effects of green tea and our tests of green tea supplements, teas, and drinks) see the update in the Green Tea Supplements, Drinks and Teas Review >> 

Omega-3's May Be Important in Preventing Cognitive Decline

We have reported in the past that a certain combination of B vitamins slowed cognitive decline as well as brain shrinkage in older people. Now, further analyses finds that these benefits only occurred in people having certain blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (as found in fish oil). Get the details in the B Vitamins Supplements Review >>

Football & Vitamin D

The outcome of today's Super Bowl 50 may be influenced by players' levels of vitamin D. Several studies show that having the right amount of vitamin D in the body reduces the risk of falls in the elderly, but research also shows benefits for younger adults — including fewer injuries among NFL football players. Get the details in the Vitamin D Supplements Review and enjoy the game!

Probiotic Helps with IBS

A probiotic was found to improve many symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a recent study. Studies with other probiotics have also shown benefits, but be aware that the choice of probiotic seems to depend on the type of IBS. Get the details, as well as our quality ratings, in the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

Whey Protein Improves Recovery After Hip Fracture Surgery

Whey protein improved strength and the ability to perform certain activities of daily living in older adults who underwent surgery for hip fracture, according to a recent study. Get the details, including dosage, and more about other benefits, in the Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Fish Oil for Dry Eye

A large study of computer-using young men and women experiencing dry eye found that fish oil significantly improved symptoms. Benefits have also been reported in postmenopausal women with dry eye. Details, including dosage, are found in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review >>

Fish Oil and Blood Pressure

As explained in our Fish Oil Review, fish oil supplements may not provide overall cardiovascular benefits — eating fish is better. However, a recent analysis found that a certain kind of fish oil may help people with high systolic blood pressure. For details, see the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplements Review >>

Cocoa Lowers Blood Sugar

In addition to potential cardiovascular, memory, and other benefits, a new analysis shows that cocoa flavanols may reduce fasting glucose and improve insulin resistance. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review >>

Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Colds & Flu

A study released today shows that taking vitamin D in a certain way reduces the risk of cold and flu infections by up to 70%. The benefits are greatest for people very deficient in vitamin D. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>

DHA to Boost Children's IQ?

Supplementing with DHA during pregnancy has been touted as a way to increase the IQ of offspring, but results published this week seem to quash that hope. However, there may be other benefits, particularly for women with normally low intake of DHA, as discussed in the section "During Pregnancy: Effects on Children" in the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review >>

Exercise Benefit Lost With High-Dose Vitamins

Older men asked to perform resistance (strength) training for 12 weeks showed less gain in bone density if they were given high daily doses of vitamins C & E than if they were given a placebo. This is not the first time that  high-dose antioxidant supplements have been shown to reduce benefits from exercise. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>

Ashwagandha Improves Memory

An 8-week study among men and women with mild cognitive impairment found ashwagandha root extract to improve many aspects of cognitive function compared to placebo. Studies have shown a range of benefits with ashwagandha, particularly in reducing stress and anxiety, although studies have been small. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Ashwagandha Supplements Review >>

Olive Oil Helps in Pre-Diabetes

Adding extra virgin olive oil to a meal decreased the rise in blood sugar and increased insulin levels after the meal, according to a new study in people with pre-diabetes. Similar benefits with olive oil have been shown in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For details, see the "Insulin Control and Blood Sugar" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review, which includes our tests and comparisons of popular olive oils on the market.

Probiotic Reduces Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea

A yogurt containing a combination of probiotic species was found to dramatically reduce the occurrence of mild and severe diarrhea in children being treated with antibiotics primarily for ear and throat infections. Probiotics have also been shown to have similar benefits in adults. For more details, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >> 

Heart Risk Lower with Chocolate

Eating chocolate is associated with a reduced risk of developing atrial fibrillation, according to a large, long-term study. Atrial fibrillation is associated with higher risk of stroke, heart failure and other serious problems. Details about this and other benefits of chocolate are found in the "What It Does" section of the Chocolate and Cocoa Powders Review, which includes our findings for the flavanol content and contamination levels of popular products.

Extra Protein Helps During Exercise & Dieting

A study among obese young men found that giving extra protein during a period of dieting and intense exercise caused them to lose more fat and gain more muscle than men to whom additional protein was not provided. Several other recent studies in both young and old individuals have shown significant benefits from additional protein – but only when combined with exercise. Get the details in the Protein Powders and Drinks Review >>

Matcha Green Tea for Memory & Cognition?

Can drinking matcha green tea enhance memory or have other cognitive benefits? Find out what a recent study showed in the Memory and Cognition section of the Green Tea Review.

Stroke Risk with Calcium

A new study shows that high-dose calcium supplements may double the risk of stroke in men and women. The risk of heart attack is also increased, as shown in other studies. However, there are ways to take calcium without this risk and still get bone health benefits. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Calcium Supplements Review >>

Chocolate for the Heart?

Studies suggest cardiovascular benefits from daily intake of cocoa flavanols, as found in dark chocolate. However, a new study, focusing on heart failure, suggests more limited intake. Get the details and our analysis in the Cardiovascular section of the Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, and Nibs Review. (Also see our Top Picks for dark chocolate, cocoa powders, and more.)

Olive Oil and Prostate Cancer

Another possible benefit of olive oil within a Mediterranean diet is a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer, according to a new study. For details about this and other benefits of olive oil, see the updated "What It Does" section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils Review, which includes our Top Picks among products.

No Bone Benefit with Vitamin D -- Really?

You may have read that a recent analysis of 81 controlled studies concluded that "vitamin D supplementation does not prevent fractures or falls, or have meaningful benefits on bone mineral density." In general, this is true, but there are important caveats. Learn more in the What It Does section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D.)

Cocoa for Diabetes?

Cocoa flavanols may help control blood sugar, but do they offer benefits to people with diabetes? See what recent studies are finding in the What It Does section of the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review. (Also see our Top Picks among products).

DHA for Toddlers?

Does giving the omega-3 fatty acid DHA to 1-year-olds born pre-term lead to improvements in cognitive development? Find out in the recent update to the What It Does section of the Fish Oil & Omega-3 Supplements Review -- and learn whether DHA use by pregnant women yields benefits for their children. (Also see our Top Picks for DHA.)

Grape Seed Extract for Blood Pressure?

Can grape seed extract lower blood pressure? See what a new study found in our article about the Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract.

Black Seed Oil for Blood Sugar Control?

Find out if black seed oil improved blood sugar control in people with prediabetes in our updated answer to the question: What are the health benefits of black cumin seed (black seed) oil?

Vitamin D for ED?

Taking vitamin D may increase the benefits of a common medication for men, according to a recent study. Get the details in the What It Does section of our Vitamin D Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among vitamin D supplements.

Omega-3's and Cognition

Studies in older individuals have shown that omega-3 fatty acid intake from fish oil may improve certain areas of mental functioning and reduce age-related cognitive decline. Benefits have also been found in younger individuals.

A study has been underway which evaluates the effects of krill oil in adolescents with lower educational performance. It was recently reported that baseline testing (before starting krill) of the students showed a positive association between levels of EPA + DHA in their blood and performance on some, but not all, measures of cognitive performance. Get the details in the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, Calamari, Green-lipped Mussel Oil) >>

Don't Take Vitamin D?

Recommendations were published this week by an expert panel against the use of certain combinations of vitamin D and calcium in postmenopausal women to prevent fractures -- as the risks outweighed the benefits. However, this does not mean you shouldn't take vitamin D. In fact the experts recommended that people at increased risk for falls should take vitamin D.  

Find out exactly what was recommended! Read the update to the Vitamin D Review. You'll get a more complete picture of what vitamin D supplements can and can't do, the latest information on what levels of vitamin D in your body seem optimal for overall health, and our test findings for vitamin D supplements. More >>

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