Researchers have linked low vitamin D levels to a higher risk of lupus.
Nearly 1.5 million Americans have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to produce antibodies that attack cells within the body, leading to widespread inflammation and tissue damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Primarily diagnosed in young woman, the disease can be severe and debilitating. Women of color are two to three times as likely to develop lupus than white women. There is no cure.
A 2012 study published in Arthritis Therapy and Research found preliminary evidence that vitamin D supplementation helps lupus patients.
The new, longitudinal study analyzed disease activity and vitamin D levels among lupus patients who attended the Monash Medical Centre Lupus Clinic in Australia, between 2007 and 2013.
“We found a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in our cohort,” Dr. Kristy Yap, of the Centre for Inflammatory Diseases in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University, said in a university release.
“Significantly, over a quarter of our patients recorded low vitamin D levels and lupus disease activity, the research shows that increasing vitamin D levels correlates with lower disease activity in lupus patients.”
The research was published in Lupus Science and Medicine.