(ABC4) – For those who have Vitamin D and fish oil supplements sitting in their medicine cabinets, a new study finds that you may be on the right track to preventing your body from developing autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body, according to Healthline. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes part of your body, like your joints or skin, as foreign. In response, it releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells.

Common autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and psoriasis.

This new study found that when it came to older, diverse Americans who took a supplementation of Vitamin D at a dose of 2,000 IU/day for approximately five years, alone or in combination with 1 g/day of omega 3 fatty acids, it led to a lower relative rate of 22% confirmed autoimmune diagnoses.

For those who had been taking the Vitamin D supplement for at least two years, the group had 39% fewer participants with confirmed autoimmune disease than the placebo group, while the omega 3 fatty acid group had just 10% fewer participants with confirmed autoimmune disease than the placebo group

For those who only took omega 3 fatty acids alone, there was no significant lower rate of confirmed autoimmune diagnoses.

The trial found that supplementation with both vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids decreased autoimmune disease by about 30% versus those who weren’t taking the supplements.

Study author Dr. Karen Costenbader, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in the division of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity and the director of the lupus program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said: “Because the participants were older adults, the results might not generalize to autoimmune diseases that primarily have their onset in younger people.”

Dr. Costenbader went on to say the manner in how these diseases develop such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis is similar in younger adults.

The trial, which included 25,000 older adults, states that daily supplementation with 2000 IU/day vitamin D or a combination of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids for five years reduces autoimmune disease incidence, with more pronounced effects found after two years of supplementation.