Sports Nutrition Experts since 1993

Vitamins and omega 3: for a strengthened immune system

  • Health nutrition
  • multivitamins
  • omega 3

Is it necessary to supplement with vitamins and omega 3? What is a multivitamin supplement used for? We also discuss with you the deficiencies as well as the hormonal impact of vitamins.

Vitamins and omega 3 during the winter

Vitamins are more effective when taken simultaneously, rather than separately, hence the interest of the Nutrimuscle's Multivitamin complex, which contains vitamin A, several vitamins of the B group, as well as vitamins C, D, E and K.

There is a health synergy in combining the regular use of vitamins with that of Omega 3. This is what medical research has shown, particularly with regard to the prevention of heart disease (45), sarcopenia and disorders. functional.

Such a synergy is also noted in athletes with regard to the fight against the harmful effects of free radicals (46).

Why a multivitamin supplement?

Vitamins are separated in two groups.

1- Fat-soluble vitamins (which mix with fats)

  • Vitamin A contributes to maintaining good vision and good bones, to the health and protection of our skin (UV rays from the sun attack our skin in winter too). It also protects against metabolic stress in athletes (1-2-3).
  • Vitamin D contributes to the proper use of calcium and magnesium, especially for the maintenance of bone integrity. It also allows an increase in testosterone and strength (4) in athletes. It also plays a role in the immune system.
  • Vitamin E and tocotrienols are antioxidants. They are incorporated into the protective membrane of our cells to fight the harmful effects of free radicals, which allows them to fight against muscle catabolism. They are also involved in the oxygenation of cells, produce a diuretic action, fight against cardiovascular disease, brain degeneration, cancer ... (5-6-7 (8-9-10) (11-12-13) -14).
  • Vitamin K plays a very important role in cardiovascular health, maintains strong bones and prevents degenerative diseases (15-16-17) (18) (19-20).

2- Water-soluble vitamins (which mix with water)

Group B vitamins promote the assimilation of proteins and amino acids. They participate in muscle anabolism and contribute to the production of red blood cells. During exercise, they stimulate the secretion of growth hormone. B vitamins reduce both the frequency, duration and intensity of cramps (21).

  • Vitamin B6: it plays a crucial role in the synthesis of certain antibodies, hemoglobin (which carries oxygen in the blood) and certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
  • Vitamin B9: it helps reduce the risks of dementia, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and cell regeneration (muscle and nerve recovery in athletes). (22-23-24).
  • Vitamin B12: it is involved in the synthesis of DNA, proteins, myelin (a substance that forms a sheath around certain nerve fibers), in the formation of red blood cells, as well as in the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. As this vitamin is only found in foods of animal origin, supplementation is interesting for people following a vegan or vegetarian type diet.
  • Vitamin C: Helps fight stress, accelerates cell recovery in the event of damage and plays a crucial role for the immune system (25). It is a powerful anti-oxidant, useful before an effort.

There is a characteristic common to certain vitamins of these two groups: their anti-oxidant capacity, that is to say to fight against free radicals. These are vitamins E and C, tocotrienols and vitamin A. (26-27-28).

The antioxidant role

The oxygen we breathe generates free radicals, molecules that lack an electron. These will attack all of our cells, whatever they are in order to steal this missing electron, causing them to be damaged.

Antioxidant vitamins serve as protective shields for muscles and can help cope with overwork by fighting catabolism, fatigue, and overtraining.


A significant portion of the population struggles to meet their minimum vitamin requirements (29).

If the sedentary people are in constant deficit, given that the regular sport practice increases the micro-nutritional losses, the needs in vitamins are even more problematic to satisfy in the athletes; hence the interest of vitamin supplementation. (30-31-32-33-34).

Hormonal impact of vitamins

Cortisol is a hormone that accelerates protein catabolism and has anti-anabolic action. It also causes the drop in testosterone levels.

The more intensely we train, the more our cortisol level will rise. It is therefore important for an athlete to fight against the rise in this hormone. Taking vitamin C before a run reduces the increase in cortisol during exercise by 30% (35).

Taking vitamin D is associated with an increase in the secretion of testosterone and a decrease in that of myostatin (a hormone that prevents muscle building), and helps to attenuate the drop in strength between sets and decrease the feeling of fatigue following the session (36-37-38).

Omega 3

Omega 3 essential fatty acids

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are lipids mainly obtained from fish fats. As for vitamins, there are omega 3 deficiencies in the French, due to the reduction in the consumption of fish (in particular oily fish: salmon, tuna, sardines, etc.) (39).

There are two classes of omega 3 supplements:

  1. Those aggregated to an ethyl ester.
  2. Those combined as triglycerides

It is in this last form that the best absorption of omega 3 (40-41-42) takes place.

Nutrimuscle's omega 3 is found naturally, which is linked to triglycerides, not as ethyl esters, although this increases the price of the supplement.

Omega 3s have many benefits:

  • Improvement of cardiovascular functions;
  • Reinforcement of the framework;
  • Protection of nerve cells by preventing neuroinflammation;
  • Fight against depression (the prevalence of which increases in winter);
  • Regulation of appetite (increased satiety hormone leptin);
  • Anti-catabolic and anabolic role (43-44);
  • Joint protection;
  • Improved thermoregulation (in order to better fight against the winter cold).

Freshness and quality of omega 3

It is very important to consume fresh omega 3s. In fact, the higher the oxidation, the more the health benefits of omega 3 tend to disappear and can become negative.

At Nutrimuscle, we make the choice to guarantee a high quality and ultra fresh raw material, which we display thanks to the TOTOX index (the oxidation index) visible in our analysis certificates.

Unfortunately, not all omega 3 sellers clearly mention this index. It is that the results in terms of quality are bad, if not very bad. Independent studies in various countries show that 11-62% of omega 3s in supplements are oxidized (resulting in a very bad TOTOX).

Be careful, not all omega 3s are created equal. Depending on their freshness, but also on their origin (fish, oil, algae), they can be potentially contaminated and not have the desired effects. The importance of the freshness of omega 3.

Scientific references

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(2) Sorg O. Topical retinoids in skin ageing: a focused update with reference to sun-induced epidermal vitamin A deficiency. Dermatology. 2014;228(4):314-25.

(3) Żychowska M. Vitamin C, A and E supplementation decreases the expression of HSPA1A and HSPB1 genes in the leukocytes of young polish figure skaters during a 10-day training camp. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Feb 11;12:9.

(4) Hodgson AB. The Effects of 4 Weeks Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Athletic Performance Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2012 44(5S): 950

(5) Vasanthi HR.Tocotrienols and its role in cardiovascular health--a lead for drug design. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(21):2170-5.

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(10) Sen CK. Palm oil-derived natural vitamin E alpha-tocotrienol in brain health and disease. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3 Suppl):314S-323S.

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(14) Aggarwal BB. Tocotrienols, the vitamin E of the 21st century: its potential against cancer and other chronic diseases.Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Dec 1;80(11):1613-31.

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(21) Chan-P. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety and efficacy of vitamin B complex in the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps in elderly patients with hypertension. J Clin Pharmacol. 1998. 38: p. 1151.

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(23) Araújo JR. Folates and aging: Role in mild cognitive impairment, dementia and depression. Ageing Res Rev. 2015 May 2;22:9-19.

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(25) Sasazuki S. Effect of vitamin C on common cold: randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;60(1):9-17').

(26) Tauler P. Diet supplementation with vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene cocktail enhances basal neutrophil antioxidant enzymes in athletes. Pflugers Arch. 2002 Mar;443(5-6):791-7.

(27) Sen CK. Antioxidants in exercise nutrition. Sports Med. 2001;31(13):891-908.

(28) Sureda A.Vitamins C and E diet Supplementation Prevents Neutrophil Protein Oxidation without Affecting the Adaptative Response to Exercise. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 2012 Aug 14; [Epub ahead of print]

(29) Pilorin T. Consommation de compléments alimentaires en France : profil des consommateurs et contribution à l’équilibre nutritionnel. Cahiers de Nutrition et de Diététique Volume 47, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 147–155

(30) Zimmermann MB. Vitamin ans mineral supplementation and exercise performance. Schweizerische zeitschrift fûr sportmedezin und sporttraumatologie. 2003. 51 (1), 53-57

(31) FINAUD J. Résultats d une enquête alimentaire réalisée chez des joueurs de rugby français de haut niveau. Cahiers de nutrition et de diététique. 2003, vol. 38, no4, pp. 234-241

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(33) Machefer G. Apports et statut en vitamines antioxydantes chez des athlètes d endurance. Science & Sports Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2006, Pages 107–109

(34) Sato A. Dietary thiamin and riboflavin intake and blood thiamin and riboflavin concentrations in college swimmers undergoing intensive training.Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Jun;21(3):195-20

(35) Peters EM. Attenuation of increase in circulating cortisol and enhancement of the acute phase protein response in vitamin C-supplemented ultramarathoners. Int J Sports Med. 2001 Feb;22(2):120-6.

(36) Pilz S. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5.

(37) Nimptsch K. Association between plasma 25-OH vitamin D and testosterone levels in men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012 Jul;77(1):106-12.

(38) Garcia LA. 1,25(OH)2Vitamin D3 Stimulates Myogenic Differentiation by Inhibiting Cell Proliferation and Modulating the Expression of Promyogenic Growth Factors and Myostatin in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cells. Endocrinology August 1, 2011 vol. 152 no. 8 2976-2986

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(41) Beckermann B. [Comparative bioavailability of eicosapentaenoic acid and docasahexaenoic acid from triglycerides, free fatty acids and ethyl esters in volunteers] Arzneimittelforschung. 1990 Jun;40(6):700-4.

(42) Dyerberg J. Bioavailability of marine n-3 fatty acid formulations. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 Sep;83(3):137-41.

(43) Gordon SI. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2011 vol. 93 no. 2 402-412.

(44) Smith GI. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia in healthy young and middle aged men and women. Clin Sci (Lond). 2011 Apr 19. [Epub ahead of print].

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Written on 1/10/2022 by Nutrimuscle Conseil
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