It probably won’t be news to you that making some healthy lifestyle changes can affect not only your risk of disease, but also your longevity. Creating healthy habits, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and even exercising are all part of staying healthy and happy for as long as possible. According to a new review published by BMJAnd Taking vitamin D and omega-3 marine fatty acid supplements can reduce your risk of developing autoimmune diseases as you age.
In this review, researchers evaluated 25,871 patients – 12,786 men over the age of 50, and 13,085 women over the age of 55, all from racial and ethnic backgrounds. They were divided into groups taking a vitamin D supplement or a placebo, and omega-3 fatty acid or a placebo, and they assessed the incidence of autoimmune disease for each participant over a 5.3-year period.
The results showed that the group Take Vitamin D Supplements (either with or without an omega-3 fatty acid supplement with it) Saw a 22% reduction in autoimmune diseases. Participants who took omega-3 fatty acids experienced a 15% decrease. While omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was not significant compared to vitamin D, both still had “larger effects” compared to the placebo groups.
How many supplements are needed?
Looking at the review, the vitamin D supplement group took 2,000 international units (IU) per day, which equals 50 micrograms. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 mcg for adults 70 or younger, and 20 mcg for older adults. Although this vitamin D supplement exceeds the RDA, the tolerable upper intake level – which is the maximum amount of the vitamin you should take before risking serious side effects – is 100 micrograms, or 4,000 IU.
For omega-3 fatty acids, participants were given 1,000 milligrams (the equivalent of one gram) per day. The RDA for omega-3s is 1.6 grams per day for men and 1.1 grams per day for women, so the supplement meets the required amount of omega-3s for a person in a day.
By taking these supplements daily, The groups experienced a reduced risk of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, autoimmune thyroid disease, psoriasis, and others.
While taking supplements can be a helpful way to get the necessary nutrients you need as you age, nutritionists advise first getting your daily vitamins from natural sources — like food and, in the case of vitamin D, sunlight. You can get some vitamin D from fatty fish, egg yolks, wild mushrooms, and fortified foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are easy to get from foods like salmon, grass-fed beef, spinach, winter squash, and more.
However, if you are not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet alone, it is essential to speak to your doctor before incorporating any supplement into your routine, so be sure to consult a medical professional before making any changes to your daily supplement.
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