Join the club for FREE to access the whole archive and other member benefits.

Vitamin D and fish oil supplements can lower the chances of getting a autoimmune disease

Disease risk reduced by 30% in older people but its best to consult a doctor before taking supplements


Key points from article :

Taking vitamin D and fish oil supplements may reduce the incidence of autoimmune disease.

A study group enrolled 25,871 participants aged 55 years or older in their Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL).

Participants received daily either 2,000 IU of vitamin D and a 1-g fish oil capsule — both supplements — or placebos.

Risk of autoimmune disease was decreased by 22% with vitamin D and 15% with omega-3 fatty acids.

Both supplements led to 30% lesser risk of developing an autoimmune condition.

“Activated vitamin D...regulates genes involved in innate and adaptive immune system,” - Karen Harte Costenbader, lead author.

“For fish oils, there are well-known anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving mechanisms.”

Consistent results across autoimmune diseases; longer adherence led to greater benefits.

People should seek medical advice before taking supplements.

Further trials in younger populations and high risk patients.

Study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School published in BMJ.

Mentioned in this article:

Click on resource name for more details.

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Harvard Medical School

Graduate medical school of Harvard University

Karen Costenbader

Rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School


Publisher of more than 70 medical and allied science journals

Topics mentioned on this page:
Vitamin D