Published on December 19, 2019
In earlier posts we explored the relationship between vitamin D level, Omega-3 Index, and vitamin C intake and the occurrence of colds and the flu separately. In the final blog post of this series, using the data you provided for the GrassrootsHealth study, we’ll explore whether vitamin D, omega-3, and vitamin C have a combined effect on colds and the flu.
For vitamin D alone, the percent of participants who experienced the flu in the prior 6 months was 32% lower for those with a vitamin D level at or above 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) compared to those with a level below 40 ng/ml (P<0.00001). For colds, it was 11% lower (P=0.00001).
For omega-3 alone, the percent of participants who experienced the flu in the prior 6 months was 38% lower for those with an Omega-3 Index at or above 8% compared to those with an Index below 8% (P=0.09). For colds, it was also 11% lower (P=0.26).
For vitamin C alone, the percent of participants who experienced the flu in the prior 6 months was also 32% lower for those who reported that they usually took supplemental vitamin C compared to those who did not (P=0.009). For colds, it was 9% lower (P=0.14).
For vitamin D, omega-3, and vitamin C combined, the percent of participants who experienced the flu in the prior 6 months was 72% lower for those with a vitamin D level at or above 40 ng/ml who also had an Omega-3 Index at or above 8% and also reported that they usually took supplemental vitamin C compared to those with a vitamin D level less than 40 ng/ml and an Omega-3 Index below 8% who did not report usually taking supplemental vitamin C (P=0.005). For colds, it was 21% lower (P=0.17).
This preliminary analysis suggests that the combined effect of maintaining a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml, an Omega-3 Index of at least 8%, and taking supplemental vitamin C could provide greater risk reduction for colds and the flu than relying on one of these nutrients alone. Further analysis is needed to assess this association by adjusting for other biometric and lifestyle risk factors. These analyses of individual and combined nutrient effects from GrassrootsHealth are possible because YOU provide us with data on multiple nutrients and health outcomes.
Test to know your status of these essential nutrients to help protect you from the cold and flu
Make sure you know your vitamin D level, and take steps to keep it within a target of 40-60 ng/ml or 100-150 nmol/L! Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)