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Vitamin D Deficiency, Sunshine, and Scleroderma

Overview
Autoimmune Diseases
Deficiencies of Vit D
Scleroderma and Vit D
Sunshine Exposure
Supplementation

Overview

Kaleidoscope Sun by Shelley EnszVitamin D's major biological function is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Recent studies have demonstrated that individuals with low blood levels of vitamin D are at a higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases.

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. Information about the popular supplement from Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health. (Also see Supplements)

Autoimmune Diseases and Vitamin D

Association between vitamin D and fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a cross-sectional study. This cross-sectional study found no evidence of association between vitamin D and fatigue in patients with RA. PubMed, BMJ Open, 2020 Feb 6;10(2):e034935. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Effects of Vitamin D on disease activity and serum interleukin-6 in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study suggests that vitamin D is not associated with disease activity or serum IL-6 levels but it may have a role in functional disability in RA patients. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 02/06/2019. (Also see Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Vitamin D in Vascular Calcification (VC): A Double-Edged Sword? This review addresses the current understanding of VC pathophysiology, with a focus on the pathogenic role of vitamin D that has provided new insights into the mechanisms of VC. PubMed, Nutrients. 2018 May 22;10(5). (Also see Vascular Involvement)

Associations between vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and susceptibility to Behçet's disease: A meta–analysis. This meta–analysis demonstrated the association between FokI and ApaI polymorphisms in VDR gene with the risk of BD. PubMed, Immunol Invest, 2018 Feb 1:1-14. (Also see Behçet's Disease)

Vitamin D could prevent rheumatoid arthritis – but much higher doses may be required in already–affected sufferers. New research reveals┬áthe so-called 'sunshine supplement' strengthens the immune system, which helps to prevent the body from attacking healthy cells and causing autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis. Mail Online, 11/21/2017.

Vitamin D Treatment in Patients with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may Decrease the Development of Hypothyroidism. Vitamin D deficiency is frequent in Hashimoto's thyroiditis and treatment of patients with this condition with Vitamin D may slow down the course of development of hypothyroidism and also decrease cardiovascular risks in these patients. PubMed, Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 2017 Jul 12:1-9. (Also see Hashimoto's Thyroiditis)

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with digital ulcer (DU) but not with atherosclerosis or arterial stiffness in patients with systemic sclerosis: a pilot study. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with DUs, but not with atherosclerosis or arterial stiffness, potentially indicating that vitamin D may have different effects on the microvascular and macrovascular involvement in SSc pathophysiology. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 2017 Jun;36(6):1325-1333. (Also see Digital Ulcers and Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Deficiencies of Vitamin D

Do I Get Enough Vitamin D in the Winter? Most people can make enough vitamin D from sun exposure during the summer, but for many, synthesis can be inadequate in the winter. New York Times, 02/16/2018.

Association between serum vitamin D levels and neuropathic pain (NP) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients: A cross–sectional study. Although further research is needed to clarify the association between serum vitamin D levels and NP, our study raises awareness of the need to screen for vitamin D deficiency in RA patients with NP. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 08/31/2017. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Scleroderma and Vitamin D Deficiencies

Vitamin D levels in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients: a meta-analysis. We hypothesize that SSc patients, especially diffused type, have lower vitamin D levels, and that the decrease of vitamin D levels might not be an accelerating factor of SSc severity. PubMed, Drug Des Devel Ther, 2017 Oct 27;11:3119-3125.

Endothelin-1, α-Klotho, 25(OH) Vit D levels and severity of disease in scleroderma (SSc) patients. Although our study revealed higher serum ET-1 and lower serum α-Klotho levels in SSc patients compared to healthy controls, there were not any significant correlations between their serum levels with severity of organ involvement. PubMed, Rheumatol Int, 2017 Oct;37(10):1651-1657.

Sunshine Exposure and Protection

Why Sunlight Is So Good For You Scientists are starting to appreciate how exposure to sunlight affects various body systems. Time Healthland, 08/07/2017.

Supplementation of Vitamin D

Before taking supplements of any kind, consult with your physicians. Both too little -- and too much -- Vitamin D can harm the heart.

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements: Helpful, Harmful, or Neutral for Cardiovascular Risk?. In this review, we discuss vitamin D and calcium supplementation and how they may affect cardiovascular health. PubMed, Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J, Jul-Sep 2019;15(3):207-213. (Also see Treatments for Heart Involvement) and Supplement Guide)

New research shows vitamin D could lower risk of colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society found having higher vitamin D levels than are currently recommended reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 22 percent. NBC News, 06/14/2018. (Also see Cancer)

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