Researchers have just found that vitamin D levels among systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) patients directly relates to the severity of the disease and the development of the autoimmune disease. The study found that people with low levels of vitamin D are more prone to develop SLE than those with higher levels.
They also noticed that a destructive inflammatory marker was more apparent in vitamin D deficient SLE patients than those with high levels.
The study was published by Dr. Lauren Ritterhouse and her team from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Their paper was the first of it's kind to conclude that vitamin D deficiency among SLE patients should be treated.
Dr. Ritterhouse said that their finding:
"..strongly suggests that repletion with vitamin D
should be considered."
Healthy control patients were observed to see if vitamin D levels related to SLE development, some of the patients had low vitamin D levels and others had high levels.
The researchers found evidence of early lupus development among healthy controls who had deficient levels of vitamin D, no evidence was found to suggest the same for patients with sufficient levels.
This means that those with lower levels of the vitamin are more at risk to develop lupus.
They also observed that a marker of destructive inflammation was far more widespread among patients who had a deficiency in their levels of vitamin D than those with normal levels.
So does that mean that very high levels of vitamin D is good for SLE patients? It seems so, as the data they gathered showed that the inflammatory marker was least apparent among patients with the very highest levels of vitamin D.
Treatment for SLE has progressed immensely over the years and, thanks to its modern advancements, patients have seen not only increased life expectancy, but less pain in general.
Repletion with vitamin D should be carried out among SLE patients to prevent their suffering from becoming any worse. Thanks to the research carried out at the University of Oklahoma, it is evident that such a course of treatment is necessary.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
(Source: John J. Cannel M.D.)