Just two years ago, Organic & Natural Health Association announced that omega-3 would be its new nutrient of focus for its “Nutrient Power” campaign to increase awareness among consumers about knowing their levels through self-testing of omega-3 DHA and EPA for improved health outcomes. Results of this campaign and nutrient field study, along with Organic & Natural Health’s next 2-year goal for the campaign were announced at the organization’s fourth annual national conference, Jan. 22-23, at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Myers, Florida, with 66 members and guests in attendance.
In the past two years combined, Organic & Natural Health has generated more than 250 million media impressions on the importance of both omega-3 and vitamin D supplementation and testing. More than 1,200 individuals have enrolled in the omega-3 portion of the nutrient field study run by GrassrootsHealth.
“What we have learned so far from GrassrootsHealth’s omega-3 nutrient field study is that, different from vitamin D, there may be more variables when it comes to how omega-3 is metabolized in the body, what form of omega-3 should be taken, the dosage and duration, as well as the frequency of testing your levels,” said Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural Health. “We need enrollment to be closer to 5,000 to have a better understanding of dose response especially with how it relates to the omega-3 index level values. We also need participants to re-test their omega-3 every 3-6 months.”
Howard says to get to 5,000 participants will require more corporate sponsorship.
“The participants involved in the nutrient field study are motivated to learn about their omega-3 and vitamin D levels and want to help further the research to understand how specific levels of supplementation translate to health outcomes,” said Howard. “However, the self-test kits do cost participants about $100 each, which can be a barrier for many, especially when you need to get re-tested every 3-6 months. In order to expand this study additional funding to cover the costs of the test kits will help us get there more quickly.”
For the next two years, Organic & Natural Health’s “Nutrient Power” campaign goals will focus on determining a clear dose response for the various forms of omega-3 by increasing enrollment in the omega-3 nutrient field study to 5,000 participants who test every 3-6 months; with a five-year goal to link increased omega-3 levels to specific health outcomes.
“It’s important for companies to partner with us on this specific omega-3 nutrient field study because what we have learned so far explains why there is so much back-and-forth on study results when it comes to omega-3 benefits,” said Howard. “In order for us, as an industry, to definitively know what the health outcomes are, as it relates to dosage and types of omega-3, we need to rapidly increase participation and frequency of testing in the current nutrient field study with GrassrootsHealth. This will give consumers a specific roadmap to boost their omega-3 levels so the current data on omega-3 does not remain arbitrary.”
Source: Organic & Natural Health Association