May 22, 2014

Lupus and Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a Marker for Disease

Vitamin D deficiency is a marker for disease activity and damage in systemic lupus erythematosus.  Low levels of vitamin D are associated with autoimmune diseases, especially lupus.  It is activated by a chemical reaction made possible by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet B rays.  Since people with lupus may need to avoid sun exposure because of the photosensitivity side effects of medications, this can increase the risk for vitamin D insufficiency, as can kidney failure and treatment with steroids.  209 people were studied at the Ohio State University Medical Center in 2008.  The patients were mostly women, with an average age of 40, having had lupus for an average of eight years and having a variety of clinical features, most prevalent being kidney and skin involvement.  Results in these patients indicated that the more vitamin D in the blood, the lower the lupus disease activity, and vice versa.  The authors recommended that all people with lupus continue to use sunscreen and consult with their physicians about adequate intake of vitamin D. 

Source:  LFA  Research Report  

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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