Effects of Vitamin D3 and Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation on Biomarkers of Systemic Inflammation: 4-Year Findings from the VITAL Randomized Trial

Nutrients. 2022 Dec 14;14(24):5307. doi: 10.3390/nu14245307.


BACKGROUND: The VITAL study was a nationwide, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2 × 2 factorial trial of vitamin D3 (2000 IU/day) and marine n-3 FAs (1 g/day) supplements. We recently reported that vitamin D supplementation with or without omega 3 fatty acids reduced autoimmune disease by 22% in the VITAL study.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of vitamin D3 and/or n-3 FAs on changes in systemic inflammatory biomarkers including pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines over a 4-year period in the VITAL sub-cohort with in-person evaluations at the Center for Clinical Investigations (CCI) in Boston.

DESIGN: Serum levels of four inflammatory biomarkers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein [hs-CRP], interleukin-6, interleukin-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α) were measured in a total of 2713 samples from those 1054 VITAL/CCI participants (aged 64.9 ± 6.5 years, 49% female, 84% white, and 9% black) at baseline, year 2, and year 4 follow-up visits.

RESULTS: In multiple-adjusted models, vitamin D3 supplementation decreased serum hs-CRP levels by 19% at 2-year follow-up (nominal p = 0.007; p-value after multiple comparison adjustment = 0.028), but not at 4-year follow-up (nominal and adjusted p-values > 0.05). The effects of vitamin D3 on other inflammatory markers were not statistically significant either at year 2 or year 4 (all adjusted p-values > 0.05). Marine n-3 FAs were not significantly associated with changes of all the above inflammatory markers either at years 2 and 4, after multiple comparison adjustment (all p-values > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D3 supplementation with or without n-3 FAs decreased hs-CRP by 19% at year 2, but not other inflammatory biomarkers at year 2 or year 4, while n-3 FAs with or without vitamin D3 did not significantly affect these biomarkers at either time point. Our findings support a potential role of vitamin D supplementation in modulating the chronic inflammatory process, systemic inflammation, and possibly autoimmune disease progression.

PMID:36558465 | PMC:PMC9782648 | DOI:10.3390/nu14245307