Vitamin D and omega-3 cannot prevent chronic inflammation

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Vitamin D and omega-3 cannot prevent chronic inflammation
Vitamin D and omega-3 cannot prevent chronic inflammation

Recent studies show that vitamin D and omega-3 supplements cannot reduce systemic inflammation in the body

The new study aimed to determine biomarker levels of several inflammatory indicators in humans taking or not taking vitamin D and omega-3, or fish oil.

After 1 year, the study found no difference in levels between the two groups, says Dr. Karen Kostenbaer, the director of the Lupus Program in the Department of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity at Brigham Hospital and an author of the study, writes on the site

Why are inflammatory markers important?

Inflammation is a key prognostic marker of several life-threatening conditions-especially those associated with aging and obesity.

These include cardiovascular disease, heart failure, osteoporosis, some neurodegenerative conditions (including Alzheimer's disease), diabetes and some cancers. Many people use vitamin D and fish oil supplements to reduce systemic inflammation and prevent such conditions from occurring.

However, the researchers of the new study found that neither vitamin D nor fish oil could reduce systemic inflammation, and in some cases, inflammatory markers were actually higher in people when they took these supplements than when those who do not accept them.

Sometimes these markers have a major role in the initiation of inflammation. Detecting elevated levels of these markers in the blood can be a prognostic tool to inform medical professionals about a person's levels of inflammation.

What was the purpose of the survey?

Many people take vitamin D and fish oil believing they can help reduce inflammation. However, it can be difficult for medical professionals to determine how to advise their patients, which supplements to take, and what dosages may be most appropriate.

This is because there is a lack of clinical outcome data.

The “VITAL” study aimed to provide clinical data needed to help he althcare professionals better inform their patients.

The ongoing study is a randomized, placebo-controlled study in which researchers investigated the effects of vitamin D, omega-3, or both on blood levels of “IL-6,” “TNFR2,” and C-reactive protein.

For this study, participants took 2,000 international units of vitamin D and 1 gram of omega-3 per day. Some received placebo products instead of the real thing.

The scientists made an initial assessment at the start of the process, which they compared to measurements they took a year later. The effects of offsetting the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer will be studied in the future.

What did the study find?

The results showed that 1 year after taking these supplements, blood levels of a type of vitamin D (25-OH) and a type of omega-3 (n-3 FA) were 39% and 55% lower high in those who took supplements.

But compared to those taking a placebo, the changes were minimal. Although these results do not appear to suggest a clinical benefit of supplementation in reducing systemic inflammation in the body, there were a number of limitations to the trial.

For example, the team only tested 1,500 people. In addition, they only tested one form of vitamin D and one form of omega-3. Other formulations of these supplements could be more effective in reducing systemic inflammation. For these reasons, further research is needed.

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