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Vitamin D & Omega-3

To Reduce The Risk Of Suffering From Autoimmune Diseases

Article written by:
Dr. Francisco Arroyo
Medical Director of SportsMed
Sports Medicine & Stem Cell Specialist
Medical | Regenerative Medicine

Vitamin D and Omega-3 to Reduce the Risk of Suffering

We well know that some of the autoimmune diseases, which are those in which our own defenses attack our body, are difficult to control and are ones that make us suffer the most from the point of view of the Doctor and the patient.

Among these diseases, we have rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc. and I say etc. because there are more than 80 diseases of this type.

Treatments are aimed at controlling our own immune system so that it does not attack us, but these treatments are long, and often do not give us the results we need. There is an alternative that reinforces these treatments: the ingestion of vitamin D, along with Omega-3 fatty acids.

In one study, 26,000 adults were enrolled in a randomized way to determine the effects of combined intake of vitamin D and Omega 3 on unforeseen cancer or cardiovascular diseases. In the study it was seen that the intake of vitamin D supplements for 5 years was associated with a 22% reduction in the incidence of risk of autoimmune diseases, and at the same time, 5 years of intake of omega 3, was associated with an 18% reduction in the incidence of unexpected autoimmune diseases. This report was provided by Karen H. Costenbader, MD, MPH, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

The following was said during the virtual annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). 2021): “The importance of these results is very high given that these supplements are not well tolerated and there are no other therapies known to be effective in reducing the incidence of autoimmune diseases.”

But it must be taken into account that the intake of this type of supplements must be for a long time to be able to see the changes, especially with vitamin D, hence there is a biological sense that autoimmune diseases develop slowly over time, that is, if they take it today they will not reduce the risk of suffering from them tomorrow.

Some other benefits of these supplements are that fish oil or Omega 3 have an anti-inflammatory effect and vitamin D helps to counteract osteoporosis, especially in patients taking glucocorticoid-type medications (these are medications used to treat autoimmune diseases).

The recommendation is simple if you do not live or cannot get 15 minutes of sun a day or do not eat fish daily and if you have family members who have had or have an autoimmune disease then it is suggested that you start taking this type of supplements together. This is something that doctors who treat these types of diseases should seriously consider and include in the long-term treatments of these diseases.

Article written by:
Dr. Francisco Arroyo – Medical Director of SportMed