Most people assume that nutritional supplements are always beneficial. But it is not always the case.
Paradoxically, the people, who may need the supplements because they don’t have a healthy diet, are the often ones who do not take the supplements !
But people, who usually do not need various supplements, because they are health conscious and have a good healthy diet, are often the ones who take the supplements unnecessarily !
Sometimes Supplements can be harmful. Hence, the need for clinical trials to assess the benefits and risks of various supplements.
So it is interesting to read a trial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which looked at Vitamin D and marine derived omega 3 fatty acids supplements. The study looked the effect of these two supplements in preventing Autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune disease is a type of disease where body’s own immune system misfires and causes inflammation in self-tissues.
Autoimmune diseases, are often chronic conditions and cause considerable misery.
The study published in BMJ looked at Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, autoimmune thyroid disease, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease, and all other new onset autoimmune diseases.
This well conducted study used a dummy pill and hence the results are usually expected to be quite reliable.
About 25 800 participants were enrolled in the study and were followed up for an average of about 5 years.
This large study from United States found that vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acid supplementation taken for five years reduces the risk of developing autoimmune diseases.
References: Vitamin D and marine omega 3 fatty acid supplementation and incident autoimmune disease: VITAL randomized controlled trial
BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2021-066452 (Published 26 January 2022)
Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:e066452. https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj-2021-066452
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