Vitamin D supplements may help reduce chronic inflammation, study finds

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Researchers have found a link between inflammation and vitamin D levels. ohlamour studio/Stocksy
  • Researchers have investigated the effect of vitamin D on systemic low-level inflammation.
  • They found that vitamin D deficiency led to higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers.
  • They concluded that improving vitamin D status among deficient patients may reduce the risk or severity of chronic diseases with inflammatory components.

Systemic low-grade inflammation is characterized by prolonged release of inflammatory molecules and connected to various health conditions.

Although vitamin D is classically known to regulate calcium levels, the latter reads showed that it also plays a role in modulating the body’s inflammatory response.

For example, studies have linked blood vitamin D concentrations to levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a widely used inflammatory biomarker.

However, it remains unclear whether low vitamin D levels increase CRP levels in randomized controlled trials tests.

We recently reviewed the evidence for whether vitamin D levels affect CRP levels in a new study.

Researchers have reported a direct correlation between low vitamin D levels and high CRP levels. They say their findings could provide an important biomarker for identifying people at risk for inflammatory diseases.

“There is evidence that improved vitamin D status reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” Boston University School of Medicine professor Michael F. Holick, who was not involved in the study, said. Medical news today.

“This is also consistent with recent observations VITAL test It reported that adults who took 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for up to 5 years had a 22% lower risk of all autoimmune diseases compared to a placebo group.

Published in the journal Research International Journal of Epidemiology.

For the study, researchers examined data from the UK Biobank on 294,970 people of British descent.

Health data included 25-hydroxyvitamin D- or 25(OH)D-levels—a standard measure of vitamin D—and CRP concentrations, along with genetic data.

The median 25(OH)D concentration was 50 nmol/L, and 11.7% had a concentration below the deficiency threshold of 25 nmol/L.

Participants also completed questionnaires about their health and lifestyle.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that among the participants, only those with vitamin D deficiency had elevated CRP levels.

They also found that increasing vitamin D levels among deficient patients can help reduce the severity of inflammation.

The researchers noted that this supports the previously proposed threshold effect, which suggests that correcting vitamin D deficiency may reduce low-level inflammation and reduce the risk of inflammation-related diseases.

The researchers further noted that genetically predicted CRP concentrations did not influence vitamin D levels in both linear and non-linear statistical analyses.

When asked how vitamin D levels might affect inflammation levels, Dr. This was reported by Elina Hypponen, one of the authors of the study, professor of nutrition and genetic epidemiology at the University of South Australia. MNT:

“In cellular and animal experiments, the hormone vitamin D inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-12 (IL-12).”

In the paper, the researchers noted that vitamin D may also promote the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.

Dr. Bruce Hollis, professor of pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, who was not involved in the study, said. Hypponen and noted that “these are known checkpoints for vitamin D at the cellular level.”

“To say that vitamin D is an important immune regulator,” he said MNT.

The researchers concluded that improving vitamin D status in the deficient range may reduce systemic low-grade inflammation and reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions.

When asked about the limitations of the study, Prof. Hypponen noted that their study only examined the effect of vitamin D on CRP, and could not be used to confirm the underlying mechanisms of the link.

When asked about the limitations of the study, Dr. Nick Tsotakos, assistant professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University, who was not involved in the research, said this. MNT:

“The research was very well done and it’s important to note that the data came from a group of hundreds of thousands of people. A limitation I can identify in the study is that inflammation was only determined by CRP levels, which, although a sensitive marker, are not specific.

He noted that more information is needed at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels to understand how vitamin D levels are related to autoimmune diseases.

Dr. David Cutler, a family physician at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, who was also not involved in the study, emphasized that the effects of vitamin D are “an area of ​​controversy.”

“In fact, the bone-enhancing properties of vitamin D have also been questioned in a large 5-year study of more than 25,000 people. It found that taking vitamin D did not reduce the risk of fractures. So what do we conclude? Low levels of vitamin D and inflammation, an indicator of c- “Recent research showing an association between high levels of reactive protein? Probably not much,” he said MNT

This, Dr. According to Cutler, association is not the same as causation.

For example, he noted, low vitamin D levels among patients with COVID-19 does not mean that vitamin D levels alone increase the risk of COVID-19. He says it’s because people who are generally sick, stay at home, and have COVID-19 have less exposure to sunlight, which increases their vitamin D levels.

He further noted that there is some uncertainty in defining vitamin D deficiency as “20 – 30 – 30 vitamin D did not have a direct effect.”

“Of course, severe vitamin D deficiency can lead to abnormal bone formation (rickets) in children and osteoporosis in adults. However, subtle defects have never been shown to directly or contribute to any disease, although they are linked to many conditions,” he said.

“The children’s diet—cereal and cow’s milk—almost eliminated rickets, while the effects of vitamin D supplementation on osteoporosis and fractures in the elderly were minimal. And there is always the risk of kidney damage and bone pain from too much vitamin D.
– Dr. David Cutler

When asked if it’s important to test people for clinical vitamin D deficiency before taking supplements, Dr. Hollis shared his suggestion:

“I recommend taking vitamin D every day. I personally recommend the level of 25(OH)D circulation to be 50 ng/ml. Again, I personally take a 10,000 IU supplement per day, as does my entire family, and we haven’t had a single problem for the past 15 years. A blood test can be done, but taking a supplement is easy and safe.”

Dr. Tsotakos notes, however: “There is no benefit on CRP levels of vitamin D supplementation in individuals with serum 25(OH)D above 30 nmol/L, which is the lower end of the reference range. This means that people with clinical deficiency may benefit more from vitamin D supplementation.

“Typically, over-the-counter vitamin D supplements contain relatively low doses that are generally very safe. That said, supplements are often taken by people who don’t need them, like most people who live an active lifestyle during the summer,” said Dr. Hypponen added.

When in doubt, a blood test can help determine if you have a deficiency.

“A little extra vitamin D from fall to late spring can be helpful. To be safe, taking the kind of doses recommended in health guidelines doesn’t require a blood test. You’re not taking any useless supplements, a blood test will help.”
— Dr. Elina Hypponen

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