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Is Vitamin D Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vitamin D And Cardiovascular Risk

Vitamin D and Rheumatoid Arthritis – What You Need To Know

Patients with RA are at increased risk of developing many comorbidities, including cardiovascular diseases, increasing their risk for morbidity and mortality. Cardiovascular disease accounts for almost 40% of deaths in RA patients, making it a leading cause of death in these patients.9 Suboptimal vitamin D levels, which have also been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality, are common in patients with RA, with epidemiological data indicating suboptimal levels in up to 60% of RA patients.4 Subsequently, there has been considerable interest in exploring the association between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease in RA patients, including how vitamin D might mediate the RA-associated inflammation that can lead to arterial stiffness and other cardiovascular abnormalities.

What Did The Study Find

There is a wide range of treatments depending on the severity of RA symptoms, from nonsteroidal and corticosteroid drugs to surgery, but still, many patients are looking for new ways to find relief.

The potential use of supplements to help diminish symptoms of RA has been a subject of study for some time.

Now a team led by Dr. Tomas De Haro Muñoz, of Hospital Universitario Campus de la Salud in Spain, have new findings about vitamin D and its potential link to RA symptoms.

The team published their findings at the expo, but they have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Muñoz and the other researchers measured the presence of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a marker which points to vitamin D in blood samples, in 78 people with RA. It was noted whether or not RA was in remission in each of these people.

They compared the vitamin D levels of those with RA to the vitamin D levels of 41 healthy people who served as the studys controls, according to the study abstract from the conference.

The researchers found that only 33 percent of the people with RA showed satisfactory vitamin D levels, and the levels were lower for those who had active RA and experienced more severe symptoms.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the clinical activity of the disease, the authors wrote. The quantification of serum 25 D levels and, consequently, vitamin D supplementation, should be considered in the management of patients with RA.

Sunlight And Vitamin D

This is a tricky solution because you dont want to increase your risk of skin cancer. But if you expose your skin to sunlight for a brief period daily, a compound in your skin will convert ultraviolet B radiation into vitamin D. Even sitting by an open window for several minutes can boost your intake. People with darker skin tones wont burn as easily, but they also do not absorb as much vitamin D as people with lighter skin.

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Vitamin D Deficiency And Autoimmune Hashimotos Thyroiditis

Studies have observed an association between autoimmune Hashimotos thyroiditis and low vitamin D levels . These studies have not observed low vitamin D levels in patients with Graves disease. A meta-analysis of 26 observational studies confirmed an association between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune Hashimotos thyroiditis . The aforementioned meta-analysis found that although there was heterogeneity between the results of the various studies performed all over the globe, studies had similar results in populations from different countries and also in populations in different age ranges, in particular pediatric and adult populations.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Food Supplements For Rheumatoid Arthritis

A meta-analysis showed that low vitamin D intake is associated with the development of RA . Thereafter, several studies performed in various areas all over the world showed that vitamin D deficiency is observed in patients with RA and that vitamin D deficiency is associated with disease activity . A meta-analysis of the good quality studies performed regarding the association between vitamin D deficiency and RA showed that vitamin D deficiency is observed in RA patients significantly more than in a control group and that vitamin D levels are inversely correlated with disease activity, meaning that low vitamin D levels are associated with high-disease activity . Moreover, an association has been shown between VDR polymorphism and RA. Specifically, the Fokl F allele of the VDR may be a risk factor for the development of RA . Further studies are needed to unravel the exact association between vitamin D deficiency and RA and to determine the best method of vitamin D supplementation and whether it may be used for the prevention of RA or for the best management of the disease . In addition, it has been proposed that vitamin D may contribute to the management of pain in RA and may be used along with TNF- inhibitors in RA treatment .

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Vitamin D: Role In Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition, resulting in synovial inflammation around joints, progressively leading to cartilage and bone destruction. Although the main cause is unknown, various factors are involved in its pathogenesis, including genetic, environmental, and dietary components.

Table 1 Vitamin D related clinical trial studies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Link Between Vitamin D And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the oldest ailments in human existence and for anyone suffering from this condition, the symptoms can be unbearable. At the microscopic level, the lining of the joints becomes inflamed and as a result, aches. Unfortunately, there is no cure as the culprit behind the trouble is not a microbe but the immune system. Somewhere along the way, the immune cells begin to recognize these areas of the body as foes and start a sustained attack. Not surprisingly, trying to figure out how to manage arthritis has been the goal of many researchers.

One of the strangest options came out in 1939: vitamin D. It was discovered in 1921 and gained notoriety as a miracle drug in the public. The medical community, however, was not about to be convinced without more research.

Unfortunately, little useful information was gained until 1974 when a more defined association was established. According to a small study on women, vitamin D deficiency led to significant issues in bone health and also an increased chance for arthritis. Although this finding wasn’t considered revolutionary, it did open the door to more advanced research to figure out what mechanism, if any, was involved.

That undertaking has now been performed. Last week, a team from China and the United States released a review of studies regarding vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis. Based on the analysis, there is good reason to believe supplementation could help anyone at risk.


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Vitamin D Benefits In Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks its own cells.

People who are suffering from this disease are asked to avoid the sun because the rays of the sun can cause rashes and also worsen the disease.

This can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D which can cause many other chronic diseases in the joints, skin, lungs, brain, and heart.

Patients suffering from lupus disease tend to have more fractures and bone and joint diseases because of a lack of vitamin D.

In this study, it was seen that patients with arthritis have a higher level of homocysteine, lower bone mineral density, and more fractures.

This increase in homocysteine increases heart problems. This makes the consumption of vitamin D supplements a necessity.

A study published in Lupus assessed the level of vitamin D in patients suffering from lupus but have not received any treatment.

It was observed that if patients do not receive any treatment for lupus, they have a low level of vitamin D which increases the level of IL-17 and IL-23 .

Another study published in Integrative Medicine Insights reported that patients who are suffering from lupus have are deficient in vitamin D which worsens the condition. Hence regularly monitoring the level of vitamin D is essential.

A study was published in Immunologic Research in which it was reported that patients suffering from lupus have a lower level of vitamin D and a higher level of IL-17 .

Vitamin And Mineral Guide For Arthritis

Arthritis | vitamin D arthritis

Learn about key vitamins and minerals and which ones are especially important when you have arthritis.

Vitamins and minerals play a critical role in staying healthy, but getting enough of certain nutrients is even more important when you have arthritis. This guide provides thorough research of key vitamins and minerals to help you figure out what you may be missing. But remember: While some supplements may help arthritis symptoms, nothing can substitute doctor-prescribed medications, a healthy diet and exercise. Always talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement, vitamin or mineral to your regimen. Just because something is natural doesnt mean it cant cause side effects or interact with medications. For more tips on choosing safe supplements, read this article.


What it does: Calcium is an essential mineral thatmaintains strong bones and teeth regulates muscle contractions transmits nerve impulses and helps release essential hormones and enzymes. It also helps prevent osteoporosis and fractures, which are higher risks among people with rheumatoid arthritis and those taking corticosteroids.

How much:Experts recommend 1,200 mg a day for healthy adults, but people with inflammatory arthritis may need more up to 1,500 mg for men and postmenopausal women. Recent research has debunked the claim that calcium supplements raise heart attack risk.

Too much:Tolerable upper limit = 2,500 mg.


Too much:No tolerable upper limit has been determined.


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Can Vitamin D Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vitamin D is vital for strong bones. It helps the body absorb calcium. Too little of this essential nutrient can cause weak bones and osteomalacia.

Study also found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disease characterised by swelling, aching joints..

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found that vitamin D deficiencies are not only common in patients with rheumatoid, but also associated with chronic pain and lower mental, physical, and emotional quality of life. A second study found that patients suffering from early rheumatoid arthritis may have better outcomes if they consume more vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Connection Between Vitamin D And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vitamin D , or vitamin sunshine, has a miraculous ability to promote health in our body.

Strong bones, cancer prevention, healthy blood pressure, and a strong immune system are all positively correlated to adequate vitamin D levels.

In fact, the medical community, as a whole, touts vitamin D as a foundational building block to good health.

Vitamin D can help regulate the immune system, ward off sickness and disease and if youre taking medication that lowers immune system defenses it can help you from getting sick as often. -Karen Langston, spokesperson for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals

Rheumatoid arthritis is no exception.

It appears that vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in patients with RA, and that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to disease severity in RA.

As vitamin D deficiency has been linked to diffuse musculoskeletal pain, these results have therapeutic implications.

Vitamin D supplementation may be needed both for the prevention of osteoporosis as well as for pain relief in patients with RA. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Physicians and rheumatologists cannot say that healthy vitamin D levels will prevent or cure RA. Rheumatoid arthritis is far too complex with a multitude of variables.

Yet, there is enough evidence for doctors, scientists, and researchers to prescribe vitamin D to RA patients and those at risk for RA.

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T Cells And Vitamin D

T cells can increase inflammation and kill cells that are infected with viruses or bacteria. Some T cells drive inflammation. Other T cells, called regulatory T cells, limit the immune response and inflammation. If the balance between them is thrown off and regulatory T cells cannot turn off the immune response, inflammatory diseases like RA can result.

Vitamin D has two important roles in this process. Vitamin D can help limit the T cells that drive inflammation, and it can also increase the activity of regulatory T cells that turn off the immune response. By restoring the balance between T cells, vitamin D can help prevent autoimmunity and inflammation.

Vitamin D Levels In People With Ra

Vitamin D Helps Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis

Low vitamin D levels have been associated with worse outcomes in people with RA. A 2016 meta-analysis analyzing serum vitamin D levels found that people with RA had much lower vitamin D levels and were more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than their healthy peers were. Another study found that 84 percent of people with RA had a vitamin D deficiency compared to 34 percent of people in the healthy group. Lower vitamin D levels also correlated with a higher severity of RA people with the lowest level of vitamin D had the highest disease activity.

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The Effect Of Vitamin D Supplementation On Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Systematic Review And Meta

  • 1Graduate School, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China
  • 2Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin First Central Hospital, Tianjin, China
  • 3Crawford School of Public Policy, Asia and Pacific College, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  • 4School of Health Sciences and Engineering, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China

Objective Observational studies have shown that vitamin D levels are inversely related to rheumatoid arthritis activity, yet evidence from population interventions remains inconsistent.

Methods: The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, CNKI, VIP, and Wanfang databases were searched for studies published before June 2020. Information was collected about the pain visual analog scale , Disease Activity Score 28 , serum vitamin D level, tender joint count , swollen joint count , erythrocyte sedimentation rate , C-reactive protein , and parathyroid hormone research data.

Compared with placebo control interventions, vitamin D supplementation seemed to be an effective intervention for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Different doses of vitamin D and durations of intervention produce different effects.

Vitamin D Improves Arthritic Symptoms

A study was in the journal Rheumatology which reported that the level of vitamin D in the body is associated with the disease activity, the level of cytokines which cause inflammation, and loss of bones in the patients.

Vitamin D reduces inflammation as it has an effect on the function of the immune system.

A study was conducted in PLoS One in which the association between vitamin D and arthritis was studied.

It was reported that the level of vitamin D in serum was lower in patients with arthritis than healthy patients. Also, genetic and environmental factors play a major role in the development of arthritis.

Studies were conducted on murine models many years ago in which the positive effects of vitamin D in preventing the development and progression of arthritis were studied. When vitamin D supplementation was given, then the arthritis symptoms had .

What does this mean? The research that has been conducted to deduce the relationship between vitamin D and arthritis reported that there is a deficiency in vitamin D in patients with arthritis. A deficiency in vitamin D disrupts the function of the immune system and develops autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

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Vitamin D Deficiency: What Is It And Who Has It

The answer to the above question is unclear. âNormalâ serum 25D is ill-defined because 1) there is considerable interindividual variability in 25D levels related to differences in sunshine exposure , clothing style, skin pigmentation, skin thickness , and adiposity, and 2) a standardized analytic method has not been adopted . Thus, there is no formal consensus on a circulating 25D concentration that defines âdeficiency.â Frequently, concentrations of < 20 ng/ml are quoted as being âdeficient,â and < 30 ng/ml as âinsufficientâ , but there are other definitions. The Vitamin D Council goes further and recommends serum levels of 50 ng/ml as a minimum to confer optimal health .

< 12 ng/ml 38
  • * These data are intended not for direct comparisons between studies, but to illustrate the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in all groups regardless of disease status. RA = rheumatoid arthritis OA = osteoarthritis THA = total hip arthroplasty.

Vitamin D And Minerals That Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

Using Vitamin D in RA: Dr. Janet Pope

Eating for rheumatoid arthritis

Can vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements help ease pain and stiffness related to rheumatoid arthritis ?

Diet plays a part in many chronic conditions. When you have RA, failing to get proper nutrition might make your symptoms worse. Getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients might help relieve your symptoms and lower your risk of complications.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the vitamins, minerals, and supplements that may help you stay healthy with RA.

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B Cells And Vitamin D

B cells are responsible for making antibodies that can bind to and help destroy viruses and bacteria. Sometimes, B cells mistakenly make antibodies that attack the bodys tissues, which causes autoimmune diseases like RA. Active vitamin D can control B-cell activity, which may limit the creation of autoantibodies that can lead to autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D And The Immune System

The classic function of vitamin D is to enhance intestinal absorption of calcium by regulating several calcium transport proteins in the small intestine . However, various cells express the vitamin D receptor and the vitamin D activating enzyme 1–hydroxylase. Various cells of the immune system also express the VDR and harbor 1–hydroxylase . Thus, cells of the immune system respond to vitamin D and also activate vitamin D in a paracrine or autocrine fashion. The extra-renal 1–hydroxylase is not upregulated by PTH, and thus, production of 1,252D3 is dependent on concentrations of the substrate 25D3, and it may be regulated by inflammatory signals, such as lipopolysaccharide and cytokines . Cells of the immune system, which express the VDR and harbor 1–hydroxylase, are macrophages, T cells, dendritic cells, monocytes, and B cells . Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of the innate immunity as it enhances the defense system of the organism against microbes and other pathogenic organisms, and it modulates the adaptive immune system through direct effects on T-cell activation and on the phenotype and function of antigen-presenting cells, particularly dendritic cells.

Figure 1.

Cells of the immune system regulated in part by vitamin D.

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