The benefits of vitamin D and fish oil

I take vitamin D and fish oil every day; click here to read more on both of them.

Most Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, those found in fish oil.  Omega-3s are are beneficial in many ways. They are good for your heart, and:

“consuming 1 gram/day of fish oils from fish (about 3 ounces of fatty fish such as salmon) or fish oil supplements promotes healthy cardiovascular function.” They also help promote healthy inflammatory response and are “associated with significant support for joint structure and function.”

Vitamin D can also be a beneficial supplement, as it possesses a variety of positive effects on your health:

“This nutrient is best known for its role in helping to facilitate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus (as well as magnesium), thus helping to promote bone health. In addition, vitamin D plays a number of roles in promoting healthy immune function.”

I take 5000 U a day of vitamin D.  I don’t recommend this dose without checking with your doctor and getting blood levels measured.

Having said that, the Institute of Medicine recommends significantly less vitamin D.  This is in part because many studies have not been done for long enough or in enough patients to show benefit. It may also be that even low vitamin D levels are associated with more heart disease and diabetes, that supplementation may not correct this; cause vs association?

The Endocrine Society recommends:

They then conclude:

Conclusions: Considering that vitamin D deficiency is very common in all age groups and that few foods contain vitamin D, the Task Force recommended supplementation at suggested daily intake and tolerable upper limit levels, depending on age and clinical circumstances. The Task Force also suggested the measurement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level by a reliable assay as the initial diagnostic test in patients at risk for deficiency. Treatment with either vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 was recommended for deficient patients. At the present time, there is not sufficient evidence to recommend screening individuals who are not at risk for deficiency or to prescribe vitamin D to attain the noncalcemic benefit for cardiovascular protection.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

One Comment:

  1. I take the Nordic Naturals brand of fish oil mentioned in this article from the Wall Street Journal.
    I buy it; they don’t pay me 🙂
    http://online.wsj.com/arti​cle/SB119975627038373627.h​tml?mod=todays_us_nonsub_p​j

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