Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmune risk
“Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation that causes tissue damage in the joints,” explains emergency room physician Kathy Golden, MD. “Research shows that vitamin D deficiency can contribute development of rheumatoid arthritis5and also correlate with the severity of the disease.”
According to the 2016 review Clinical and experimental rheumatologyabout 55% of patients with RA6 are deficient in vitamin D. Additionally, studies show an inverse relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin D, as activity increases when D levels decrease.
“Other studies have shown that increasing vitamin D intake can help relieve symptoms,” shares Golden. “This makes sense because vitamin D plays an important role in bone health.” She adds that most of the existing studies investigating the link between rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin D are small, so more research is needed.