Alexandria, Egypt--Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes one’s immune system to attack healthy tissue. Lupus patients on traditional therapies often take corticosteroids and anti-inflammation drugs to relieve symptoms, but the condition has no cure. A group of researchers from the University of Alexandria believe, however, that one’s vitamin D status may have something to do with the disease’s treatment.
The team gave 267 lupus patients either a placebo or 2,000 IU of vitamin D everyday for a year. There was also a control group of 175 healthy people without lupus. Markers of inflammation (like cytokine levels), hemostatic markers and lupus symptoms were assessed. Before the study, 69% of all lupus patients had insufficient vitamin D levels (19.8 ng/ml on average), but only 39% of the controls had insufficient levels. But after taking vitamin D for a year, the lupus patients had significantly improved inflammation levels and hemostatic markers, and less disease activity than the placebo group. In fact, only 10% of this group had a flare-up of symptoms over the year. Some 24% of the placebo lupus group had flare-ups over the course of the study.
These data are published in The Journal of Rheumatology.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2013 (online 1/17/13)