National Health Institutes funded a trial employing 25,871 healthy American men and women aged 50 or over, including 5,106 African Americans. Study participants were divided into four groups and randomly assigned to take supplements or placebo, followed by 5.3 years on average.
One group received 2,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D3 and 1 gram of omega-3 per day. The other group received vitamin D and a fake pills instead of omega-3. The third group received omega-3 and vitamin D placebo. The final group received two placebo.
Pharmavite LLC from Northridge, California, donated vitamin D agents and the corresponding placebo, while Pronova BioPharma Norway and BASF donated Omacor, a fish oil sold under the name of Lovaza in the United States.
The results published in The New England Journal of Medicine were presented on Saturday at a conference of the American Heart Association in Chicago.
In many ways, the results are not surprising. In recent years, the public has been spotted with constant information on the health benefits of vitamin D since studies have linked a low level of vitamin with different conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease and depression. Many primary health care practitioners are now routinely examining the levels of vitamin D patients and declare that they are inadequate, and supplemental sales are increasing in recent years.
However, all critics questioned whether vitamin D is just a sign of overall health and whether the threshold for lack was too high. The so-called vitamin sun is synthesized in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight and exhausted by smoking, obesity, poor nutrition and other factors. Certain foods, such as fatty fish, eggs and milk, also contain vitamin D.
The Institute of Medicine in 2011 concluded that most Americans get enough vitamin D and that the deficiencies are overstated. The group also noted that reports of potential benefits with higher levels of blood were not consistent.