New Study Reveals Positive Secondary Findings for Omega-3s and Vitamin D Supplementation

Washington, D.C., November 12, 2018 — In response to a new study, “The Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), published online November 10 in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented simultaneously at the American Heart Association’s 2018 Scientific Sessions in Chicago, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:

Statement from Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN:

While early news coverage has focused on topline results, CRN is encouraged by several very positive findings showing benefits of omega-3 and vitamin D supplementation in additional analyses:

  • Almost a 30 percent reduction in heart attacks in the fish oil group compared with placebo.
  • A 40 percent reduction of heart attacks in fish oil groups who had less than 1.5 servings of fish per week, with even more dramatic impacts among African-Americans.
  • Reduction in the rate of cancer deaths two or more years later in people who took vitamin D. 

The study reaffirms the safety of both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, and does not change decades of research showing how critical vitamin D and omega-3 supplementation are for overall health:

  • Vitamin D, a nutrient of public health concern, plays an important role in bone health, immune function, and maintaining cardiovascular health in adults. 
  • Omega-3 is essential to cardiovascular health, prenatal health, and cognitive health. 

These findings are promising, and CRN looks forward to ancillary studies that are expected to be published from this impressive data collected on over 25,000 participants.