How much relief can I expect if I take vitamin D for rheumatoid arthritis?
When vitamin D is mentioned, most people think it is taken with calcium supplements. Indeed vitamin D is required for calcium to be absorbed in the intestine.
Vitamin D is made in the skin from sunlight exposure. It is known to play significant roles in the human body.
Current studies have shown a strong relationship between vitamin D levels in the blood and many autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and rheumatoid arthritis.
Read on to look at some facts from research findings on the link between vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis...
It is known from population studies that females living in the northeastern areas of United States have a higher risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.
When the researchers looked for a reason, a possible explanation came up.
It may have been due to less sunlight exposure and hence, a possible deficiency in vitamin D in these women.
This deficiency in vitamin D from living in areas of less sunlight exposure is also linked to several other immune-related diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease.
Moreover, here's something that is also quite interesting that further support the link between vitamin D levels and rheumatoid arthritis.
There is a fluctuating level of vitamin D as it relates the seasonal changes. Vitamin D level is lower during the winter months and it peaks in the summer. This may explain why the symptoms of rheumatism worsen during winter.
Here's the reference to this finding:
Vitamin D endocrine system involvement in autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
Cutolo M, Pizzorni C, Sulli A.
Autoimmun Rev. 2011 Aug 16.
Indeed, if this is the case, then taking vitamin D supplements during the winter months will keep the levels high and reduce the severity of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
This is not a guarantee that taking vitamin D would help but why wosen the condition by being deficient?
So what this translates to is that taking vitamin D may not prevent rheumatoid arthritis from developing nor will it make it go away.
However, it may could help to cut down on the severity of the debilitating symptoms.
We would like to see some clinical studies on vitamin D for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. With this preliminary link established between low vitamin D levels and severity of rheumatoid symptoms, it may open the way for further research.
Thinking of taking vitamin D for rheumatoid arthritis?
Go for it. Remember that vitamin D serves many functions in our body including regulation of the immune system.
Vitamin D is very cheap and safe to use with very minimal side effects.
A deficiency in vitamin D is linked to greater and more severe symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Daily vitamin D supplement will help prevent this situation.
We suggest taking at least 1,000 IU daily. Higher doses may be safely used but always consult your health care professional first for guidance.
Find out the many herbs and natural remedies that people use around the world to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
We have created a detail summary listing all the useful natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis that you could try out.
Revised: April 22, 2012