Vitamin D Deficiency, Rheumatism Linked

ROME, June 21 (UPI) — British and Italian researchers, working independently, found the majority of patients with rheumatic conditions are deficient in vitamin D.

Researchers in Britain looked at 180 patients and found 58 percent of those with rheumatic conditions had vitamin D levels lower than what is considered “sufficient” for good health.

In another study, Dr. L. Idolazzi of the University of Verona in Italy and colleagues looked at 1,191 rheumatoid arthritis patients and found blood levels of vitamin D lower than healthy levels in 85 percent of those not taking vitamin D supplements and in 60 percent of those taking 800 International Units or more of vitamin D daily.

A third study, by researchers at the Immuno-Rheumatology Clinic, A. Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara, Italy, found just 29 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis were at vitamin D levels considered “sufficient” in healthy subjects.

“The results of our study show that daily 800-1,000 IU supplementation is not sufficient to normalize vitamin D levels in patients with rheumatologic or bone conditions,” Dr. Pier Paolo Sainaghi, the study author, said in a statement. “What is unclear is whether a higher dose would be more effective.”

All three studies were presented at the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome.

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