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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

Key Points

  • 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.

Read the Full News Article Here


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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.

Enroll in D*action and Test Your Levels 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)

Enroll in D*action and Build Your Custom Test Kit!

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