Supplements of all kinds have gotten increasingly popular in recent years. However, two of the most common ones on the market – vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids – can boost your health tremendously, and even reduce your risk of developing an autoimmune disease as you age.
What are autoimmune disorders?
Autoimmune disorders are a category of conditions where your immune system mistakenly thinks that the body is “attacking” itself. This triggers an inflammatory response where the immune system fights “invaders” that don’t exist, and harms the body in the process. Some of the most common diseases in the world fall under this umbrella. That includes type 1 diabetes (where the body kills insulin-producing cells) and rheumatoid arthritis (where the immune system damages joints). Psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease are also in this category.
Many autoimmune diseases don’t have outright cures. However, there are different treatment options to manage symptoms or get rid of them entirely. Prescription medications may be important to keeping autoimmune under control, but doctors believe that additional supplements could play an important role in regulating symptoms day to day.
The Power of Vitamin D and Omega 3s
There’s currently a lot of focus on finding ways to prevent the immune system from attacking the body. Research recently presented at the American College of Rheumatology conference showed that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids may both significantly reduce signs of an autoimmune disease to begin with. In fact, this randomized trial found that reliably taking these two supplements daily for five years significantly decreased the likelihood of developing an autoimmune disorder by 25 to 30 percent in older adults.
Scientists are still parsing their data, but believe that daily supplements could make a big difference in the overall health of adults. That’s especially true for individuals in the northern hemisphere, who are often deficient in vitamin D and omega-3s.
You should always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen. Still, it’s great to know that there’s promising data out there!