Published on February 11, 2024
A two-year follow up of VITAL trial participants highlights the lasting benefit of omega-3 supplements and the importance of continued daily supplementation with vitamin D
- Two years after discontinuing supplementation through the VITAL trial, a new analysis concluded “…vitamin D 2000 IU/day’s protective effects dissipated, but 1000 mg/day n-3 fatty acids had a sustained effect in reducing AD incidence”
- Our bodies were designed to get a consistent supply of vitamin D; when large doses are given sporadically or when dosing is discontinued, the body does not receive or maintain the full health benefits that vitamin D can provide
- One of the most impressive findings published from the VITAL trial may have been the effect of vitamin D and omega-3s on reducing the incidence of autoimmune disease; read more for an explanation of how taking both vitamin D and omega-3s together works to help prevent autoimmune disorders and immune-mediated conditions
Measure Your Levels of Vitamin D and Omega-3s Today!
Initial findings from the VITAL trial on the effects of vitamin D and omega-3 supplementation on the risk of autoimmune disease found a 25-30% decreased incidence of autoimmune disease diagnosis among those taking vitamin D and/or omega-3s vs only placebos.
Two years after discontinuing supplementation through the VITAL trial, a new analysis of data from 21,592 participants has been published by Costenbader et al. to see if supplementation during the trial maintained a continued effect on autoimmune disease risk.
The study authors concluded,
“Two years after trial termination, vitamin D 2000 IU/day’s protective effects dissipated, but 1000 mg/day n-3 fatty acids had a sustained effect in reducing AD incidence.”
Read the full news release from Medscape below, followed by additional research to show why these findings, especially on vitamin D, could be expected.
Medscape News Release
(Medscape – February 07, 2024) Two years after the end of a randomized trial that showed a benefit of daily vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 FA) supplementation for reducing risk for autoimmune diseases, the salubrious effects of daily vitamin D appear to have waned after the supplement was discontinued, while the protection from n-3 lived on for at least 2 additional years.
As previously reported, the randomized VITAL, which was designed primarily to study the effects of vitamin D and n-3 supplementation on incident cancer and cardiovascular disease, also showed that 5 years of vitamin D supplementation was associated with a 22% reduction in risk for confirmed autoimmune diseases, and 5 years of n-3 FA supplementation was associated with an 18% reduction in confirmed and probable incident autoimmune diseases.
Now, investigators Karen H. Costenbader, MD, MPH, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues reported that among 21,592 participants in VITAL who agreed to be followed for an additional 2 years after discontinuation, the protection against autoimmune diseases from daily vitamin D (cholecalciferol; 2000 IU/d) was no longer statistically significant, but the benefits of daily marine n-3 FAs (1 g/d as a fish-oil capsule containing 460 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid and 380 mg of docosahexaenoic acid) remained significant.
If You Aren’t Taking Your Vitamin D Daily – Then It May Not Be Working
Our bodies were designed to get vitamin D on a regular basis from sunshine. One important aspect to consider when looking at any vitamin D trial is the frequency of dosing. Were supplements given daily, weekly, monthly, yearly? Important to understanding how vitamin D is processed in your body is the concept of a half-life… Read More
Understanding the Forms of Vitamin D: Vitamin D3, 25(OH)D, and 1,25(OH)2D
“Vitamin D” is a term that refers to several compounds. In this post, we will be discussing the three specific forms of vitamin D illustrated in the diagram below: Vitamin D [as Cholecalciferol (D3)], 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D or Calcifediol], and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D or Calcitriol]… Read More
Vitamin D Therapy for Autoimmune Disorders
In this video Dr. Renu Mahtani covers key points of using vitamin D therapy as a treatment for autoimmune disorders, a major part of the Coimbra Protocol. Please take a moment to watch and share the video along with the detailed information shared here… Read More
Co-Supplementing with Vitamin D & Omega-3s: Is there a reason to take both?
One of the most impressive findings published from the VITAL trial may have been the effect of vitamin D and omega-3s on reducing the incidence of autoimmune disease. Read here for an explanation of how taking both vitamin D and omega-3s together works to help prevent autoimmune disorders and immune-mediated conditions… Read More
Findings from RCTs on Vitamin D and Thyroid Function
Several studies have found a direct effect of vitamin D supplementation on thyroid function, as well as significant associations between vitamin D levels and the levels of thyroid hormones and thyroid antibodies. What does the published research say about vitamin D and thyroid function, especially for Hashimoto’s and autoimmune thyroid patients?… Read More
Defining Optimal Levels and Doses of Vitamin D for Every Individual
What should be the minimum vitamin D level among all individuals? What diseases and conditions might benefit from even higher vitamin D levels? Part 2 of a series of questions and answers with Dr. Sunil Wimalawansa… Read More
Study on Cancer Mortality Demonstrates Importance of Daily Dosing with Vitamin D
A 2023 meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials reveals daily vitamin D supplementation has a significant benefit on cancer mortality but bolus dosing does not… Read More
Improved Disability and Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis with Combined Vitamin D and Omega-3 Supplementation
A randomized controlled trial finds that vitamin D and omega-3 supplements among MS patients resulted in significant improvements in disability, inflammation, and serum insulin levels… Read More
How Much Vitamin D and Omega-3s Do You Need? Find Out with Your Home Test Kit!
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which additional nutrients to measure, such as your omega-3s and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. With measurement you can then determine how much is needed and steps to achieve your goals. You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.
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)