Vitamin D Deficiency, Sunshine, and Scleroderma

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


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

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)

Vitamin D level in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its correlation with the disease activity: a meta–analysis. Our meta–analysis suggests that the vitamin D level is associated with susceptibility to RA and RA activity. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016 Sep-Oct;34(5):827-833. (Also see Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments)

Vitamin D, disease activity and comorbidities in early spondyloarthritis. In early axial spondyloarthritis vitamin D deficiency was associated with higher disease activity and severity and presence of metabolic syndrome. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 04/05/2016. (Also see Ankylosing Spondylitis)

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)

Bone and Celiac Disease. Adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation are also recommended to optimize bone recovery, especially during the first years of gluten free diet. Springer Link, 02/13/2016. (Also see Celiac Disease)

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked More Closely to Diabetes than Obesity. Vitamin D deficiency and obesity interact synergistically to heighten the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (Also see Prevention of Diabetes)

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

How Sunlight Affects Your Mental Health. A new study suggests just how much sunlight really matters to our emotional and mental health, more than any other weather phenomenon. Time Healthland, 11/07/2016.

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.

New Studies Give Mixed Results About Taking Fish Oil and Vitamin D. Taking fish oil or vitamin D? Big studies give long–awaited answers on who does and does not benefit from these popular nutrients. Time Healthland, 11/10/2018. (Also see 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)

Vitamin D supplements are not effective, and could be dangerous, studies find. There is a lack of evidence to support the health benefit claims of virtually all vitamin supplements on the market. Science Alert, 01/11/2016. (Also see Scleroderma Supplement Guide)

Go to Causes of Scleroderma: Environmental

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