We know their anti-inflammatory properties, even anti covid. Vitamin D and omega-3 would also be interesting for reducing the risk of developing an autoimmune disease, at least if we are to believe a scientific study published on January 26, 2022 in the British Medical Journal (Source 1).
The study authors, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, say the clinical significance of these findings is high, “given that they are well-tolerated, non-toxic supplements and there are no other effective therapies known to reduce rates of autoimmune disease.”
Remember that an autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system is deregulated, to the point of mistakenly attacking certain cells of the body. Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases.
The researchers here tested the effects of food supplements based on vitamin D in association or not with omega-3 from fish, on the occurrence of autoimmune diseases in 25,871 American adults (including 51% of women, and whose average age was 67 years). Participants filled in their age, ethnic origin, region of residence, income, education levels, lifestyle, weight, medical history, diet, and, of course, their consumption of dietary supplements. Blood levels of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids were measured.
Several participating groups were formed at random:
- those receiving vitamin D alone (2000 IU/day) or a similar placebo;
- those receiving omega-3 fatty acids (1000 mg/day) or a similar placebo.
Verdict: an autoimmune disease was diagnosed in 123 participants in the vitamin D group, compared to 155 in the placebo group, i.e. a risk reduced by 22%. 130 people were diagnosed in the omega-3 group, compared to 148 in the placebo group, a risk reduction of 15%. The duration of taking the supplements would also be an important factor: the reduction in risk would increase all the more as one continues to take these supplements.
For scientists, this study is “the first direct evidence” that daily supplementation with vitamin D and/or omega-3 fatty acids reduces the incidence of autoimmune diseases, with a more pronounced effect after two years of supplementation. These two complements would act among other things by reducing the body’s inflammatory markers.
Remember that you can stock up on vitamin D andOmega 3 other than with supplements, in particular by regularly consuming oily fish (sardines, mackerel, trout, etc.), vegetable oils (flax, walnuts, rapeseed, etc.), and by exposing yourself to the sun for 10 minutes per week.