If you are over 50 – and you’re not already supplementing with vitamin D – here’s one more reason why you should…
A recent report found that this simple vitamin can lower your risk of being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (AI) by almost 25%.1
That’s huge – especially when you consider that today one in 12 Americans has an AI. Three decades ago, only one out of 400 people developed an autoimmune disease.2
That’s more than a 3,000% increase in 30 years.
In fact, today, more people have autoimmune diseases than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes COMBINED.
Traditional medicine continues to blame autoimmune diseases on your genes. But that makes no sense. This sharp increase is a recent event. Human genes can’t change in just one generation!
Let’s see what’s going on…
Autoimmune diseases happen when your immune system attacks your own body.
It’s a direct result of a toxic environment we weren’t designed to live in… Dangerous pesticides, hormone disruptors, and our industrial food supply damage cells, produce free radicals and create a toxic tsunami inside the body.
It’s not surprising that the immune system can’t handle it.
Conventional medicine doesn’t have an answer… So they prescribe immune-suppressing drugs and corticosteroids that knock out your body’s immune system.
But these drugs cause additional harm… including raising blood sugar levels and increasing the risk of having a heart attack.
I’m here to tell you what Big Pharma won’t… You can reduce your risk of an autoimmune disease by taking vitamin D3 regularly.
The research backs up the link between vitamin D3 deficiency and autoimmune disease.3
In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers discovered a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and disease progression.4
Additional studies show that low vitamin D levels are associated with lupus.5 Vitamin D levels are lower in patients with multiple sclerosis. The lower the levels, the more severe the symptoms are.6
A new study from researchers at Harvard looked at the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on rates of autoimmune disease.
The team followed over 25,000 men and women 50 and older for five years. The participants received 2,000 IU a day of vitamin D – with or without omega-3 – or a placebo.
They found that supplementing with vitamin D reduces the risk of developing AI by 22%. They also discovered that omega-3 fatty acid intake caused a 15% reduced incidence of autoimmune disease.
If you’re a regular reader, you already know that vitamin D and omega-3s are linked to immune function.
Many of the cells in your body have receptors for vitamin D3. These receptors and vitamin D3 fit together like puzzle pieces for these areas to function. These receptors tell different immune cells what to do in the immune system.7
But when these receptors malfunction, they trigger autoimmune overload. They mistake your cells for foreign invaders and attack them.
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their ability to fight inflammation. But the omega-3 fatty acid DHA does much more.
DHA contains compounds called specialized pro-resolving mediators. This helps boost your immune system by suppressing the slow-burning fire that leads to an inflamed state.8
I recommend getting between 600 mg and 1,000 mg of DHA daily. But not from fish oil. It doesn’t contain nearly enough. I suggest calamari, squid, or oil.
Supplement with vitamin D to reduce autoimmune disease risk
I call vitamin D the rocket fuel your immune system depends on. You can’t have a functional immune system without it. Here’s what I tell my patients:
- Sit in the sun. Sitting outside – unprotected – for 15 to 30 minutes will generate 10,000 to 20,000 IUs of vitamin D. Be sure to expose as much skin as possible.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D. Grass-fed beef liver, wild-caught salmon, herring, sardines, dried mushrooms, and pastured eggs are excellent sources. But cod liver oil remains the best source. One tablespoon delivers 1,400 IUs.
- Take a D3 supplement. Your food probably won’t give you all the vitamin D you need. I recommend supplementing with a type of vitamin D3 called cholecalciferol. It’s the same vitamin D that your body produces. Avoid the synthetic form of vitamin D2.
- Don’t forget to include these… 50% of Americans can’t metabolize vitamin D due to inadequate magnesium levels. Take 600 mg to 1,000 mg of magnesium every day. Vitamin K2 is also essential for vitamin D absorption. Take 45-90 mcg daily.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Hahn J, et al. “Vitamin D and marine omega 3 fatty acid supplementation and incident autoimmune disease: VITAL randomized controlled trial.” BMJ. 2022;376:e066452.
2. Bilstrom D. “Autoimmune diseases around the world.” 2017. https://www.binghammemorial.org/ Accessed on March 29, 2022.
3. Murdaca G, et al. “Emerging role of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases: An update on evidence and therapeutic implications.” Autoimmun Rev. 2019;18(9):102350.
4. Mouterde G, et al. “Association between vitamin D deficiency and disease activity, disability, and radiographic progression in early rheumatoid arthritis: The ESPOIR Cohort.” J Rheumatol. 2020;47(11):1624-28.
5. Islam MA, et al. “Vitamin D status in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Autoimmun Rev. 2019;18(11):102392.
6. Hiremath GS, et al. “Vitamin D status and effect of low-dose cholecalciferol and high-dose ergocalciferol supplementation in multiple sclerosis.” Mult Scler. 2009;15(6):735-40.
7. Prietl B, et al. “Vitamin D and immune function.” Nutrients 2013;5(7):2502-21.
8. Jaudszus A, et al. “Evaluation of suppressive and pro-resolving effects of EPA and DHA in human primary monocytes and T-helper cells.” J Lipid Res. 2013;54(4):923-35.