e always heard take your vitamins growing up. Well, according to data released at the American College of Rheumatology’s ACR Convergence, researchers have discovered that some vitamins, such as vitamin D3 and Omega-3 supplements, are potent enough to delay the onset of major symptoms for those suffering from autoimmune diseases.
Over 25,871 adults participated in the study to determine the effectiveness of vitamin D and Omega-3 fish oil. And the evidence suggested that those who take both supplements a day had a 22% lower chance of developing autoimmune disease, according to information presented in the journal BMJTrusted Source.
“Autoimmune diseases are a group of over 80 different related diseases, and their prevalence and health impact increase with age,” Karen Harte Costenbader, M.D., professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told MNT. “This is the first direct evidence that we can do something to prevent them in older adults.”
It is estimated that over 24 million people in the U.S. have autoimmune diseases.
Examples of autoimmune conditions include:
autoimmune thyroid disease
type 1 diabetes
inflammatory bowel disease
rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
It’s been well-established that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements play crucial roles in bone and heart health.
As for certain autoimmune disorders, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, the data suggested that when a person with an autoimmune condition regularly took both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty, they reduced their chances of relapse by 30 percent. Researchers say Omega-3 can help reduce the severity of the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients as well.
“It is exciting to have these new and positive results for nontoxic vitamins and supplements preventing potentially highly morbid diseases,” said Costenbader in a news release. She added, “This is the first direct evidence we have that daily supplementation may reduce autoimmune disease incidence, and what looks like a more pronounced effect after two years of supplementation for vitamin D.”
This announcement is promising for Native Americans, and African-American populations given they are at extreme risk of developing autoimmune conditions than white individuals. But those most impacted are women. In fact, women are at a greater risk of passing from autoimmune conditions.
For those living with autoimmune illness, the challenges they face are insurmountable, such as high medical costs, loss of time, and productivity at work, not to mention a decline in their mental health.
Although the medical profession doesn’t fully know why autoimmune conditions develop, in a nutshell, when a person has an autoimmune illness, the cells mistakenly attack the person’s own body, rather than doing their job of fighting off infection and diseases. Many researchers believe there’s a hereditary gene or some environmental factors that contribute to developing autoimmune diseases.
Thankfully, autoimmune diseases aren’t contagious, but there’s no cure, so the best a sufferer can do is manage and make the necessary adjustments to manage symptoms. It’s recommended that a person takes around 2,000 units (IU) of vitamin D a day and 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). Of course, before any drug is taken, a person should consult their doctor.