According to a study released November 21, 2017 by the University of Birmingham, healthy vitamin D levels are associated with inflammation prevention. Inflammation is a key cause of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases. Vitamin D is popularly known as the vitamin that is made by our bodies when exposed to sunlight, and appears to be a major factor in preventing arthritis. The study found that maintaining vitamin D levels, prevents inflammatory disease, but does not suggest that vitamin D helps to cure once arthritis has set in.
This is not a new idea, previous studies have lead to the same conclusion that Vitamin D does inhibit inflammation, the most recent study however seems to suggest that Vitamin D will not help to heal inflammation once it has already become chronic.
A study produced in 2012 in The Journal of Immunology, discovered the specific functions by which vitamin D appeared to inhibit inflammation. Though the 2012 study was not the first to associate Vitamin D levels with inflammation, it did make some key findings. In the words of Elena Govela:
“This study goes beyond previous associations of vitamin D with various health outcomes. It outlines a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation,” She continues “Patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, arthritis and prostate cancer, who are vitamin D deficient, may benefit from vitamin D supplementation to get their serum vitamin D levels above 30 nanograms/milliliter.”
Since the time of the 2012 study, and long before, there has been a debate about the proper amount of Vitamin D one should take on a daily basis, this discussion has continued on to the most recent study which resolved recently in 2017.
Vitamin D is a well-established vitamin, it has long been known to be an effective modulator for the immune system. Vitamin D, in particular can suppress inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. Those found to have rheumatoid arthritis have often been found to be vitamin D deficient. The biggest discovery from this recent study is that sensitivity to vitamin D decreases in an immune system already afflicted with inflammation, and thus vitamin D may not be an effective means to cure inflammation once it has occurred. In the words of the Senior Author Karim Raza:
“Our findings were unexpected as we initially thought that cells from the inflamed rheumatoid joint would respond just as well to vitamin D as cells from the blood. The fact that they don’t has important implications for how we think about using vitamin D to treat inflammation.
“Unlike previous studies we isolated different immune cell types from the actual site of disease to determine whether specific subsets of immune cells (specific T cell groups) have equal sensitivity to vitamin D.”
There are only a few things that have remained consistent throughout the myriad of studies that have been conducted which is; getting sun produces vitamin D in the body, and maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D inhibits and prevents inflammation and inflammatory disease. The best wisdom anyone can get from these studies is to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight everyday (if you can), this is not medical advise, just a natural suggestion.
1. ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily,www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171121123308.htm.
2. ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily,www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120223103920.htm.