Vitamin D ('04, '07-08') & Rheumatoid Arthritis


Learn more about treatment of rheumatoid arthritis


Noting that vitamin D increasingly is being recognized as having many benefit effects, these researchers determined that noting vitamin D deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis patients is important and frequently exists. There's no agreement that vitamin D deficiency alone causes RA, but it is a factor and symptoms are relieved with increased vitamin D intake.

They further noted that the difficulty is in determining just how to correct the deficiency, concluding that high-dose vitamin D given orally, weekly, can quickly correct the deficiency and then it should be followed by lower doses to keep an adequate level in the system.

Researchers: P. Leventis, S. Patel
Published: Clinical aspects of vitamin D in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology (Oxford). November, 2008.


Researchers discovered that vitamin D receptors were contained in a variety of cells comprising the immune system (dendritic cells) and that they could produce this component. This gave rise to the suggestion that vitamin D plays a role in the regulation of the immune system.

Vitamin D is developed in the body by exposure to sunlight. Low levels of vitamin D in the blood may be due, not only to limited sunlight exposure, but genetic factors and nutrition.

Following these conclusions, researchers looked for correlations in rheumatoid arthritis patients and found that they have low blood levels of vitamin D, and that their condition is more severe in the winter when light levels are lower.

Researchers have also found that consuming greater amounts of vitamin D was correlated with marked improvement, not only in RA symptoms, but in the health of the immune system.

Researchers: M. Cutolo, K. Otsa, et al
Published: Vitamin D in rheumatoid arthritis, Autoimmununity Reviews, November, 2007.


Researchers, noting that vitamin D regulates calcium balance and perhaps the immune system, wanted to determine the relationship between consumption of vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis.

They evaluated data from a study of 29,368 women, aged 55-69, who were rheumatoid arthritis patients (RA), using a food frequency form the patients had filled out, which included vitamin D supplementation.

152 cases were tracked over the following 11 years and found that the greater the vitamin D intake, the lower the risk of RA.

Researchers: L.A. Merlino, J. Curtis, et al; Iowa Women's Health Study.
Published: Vitamin D intake is inversely associated with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Iowa Women's Health Study, Arthritis and Rheumatology, January, 2004.