Low vitamin D may be a possible cause

  • Chronic inflammation is linked to inflammation-related health problems, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Elevated inflammatory biomarkers in the blood like C-reactive protein can be an indicator of chronic inflammation.
  • A new study has found a link between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and high C-reactive protein.
  • Researchers suggest that for people who are vitamin D deficient, improving vitamin D levels may reduce chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is the activation of the body’s immune cells in response to injury or infection.

In the short term, inflammation is necessary for proper healing. However, when it persists, it can contribute to the development of inflammation-related health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, among others.

Chronic inflammation can result from ongoing infections, exposure to irritants, and autoimmune disorders. But other factors like age, stress and diet can also play a role. Identifying chronic inflammation can be difficult, but specific inflammatory biomarkers in the blood may indicate its presence. one of which is C reactive protein (CRP).

According research 2021Vitamin D has been shown to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, and deficiencies in this nutrient can contribute to chronic inflammation.

Still, the association between vitamin D and CRP is unclear. Although previous studies published in 2015 and 2020 studied the influence of vitamin D on CRP, no evidence was found to support a causal effect.

However, new genetic research from the University of South Australia, recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found an association between low levels of vitamin D and high CRP in the blood. This finding leads researchers to suggest that increasing vitamin D in people with a deficiency may reduce chronic inflammation.

To conduct the study, scientists recruited 294,970 UK Biobank participants who identified as having white British ancestry. They then analyzed participants’ active serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels. They also asked participants to complete health and lifestyle questionnaires and obtained blood samples for biomarkers and genetic evaluations.

Linear and non-linear use Mendelian randomization (MRI), researchers looked for associations between serum 25(OH)D and CRP.

Researchers have found a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and high CRP in the blood. Specifically, a one-way relationship, meaning that vitamin D can be a driver of CRP levels, but not the other way around.

However, the researchers also found that only study participants with low serum 25(OH)D levels had elevated serum CRP. This suggests that the anti-inflammatory benefits of improving vitamin D levels are limited to people with deficiencies.

“We have repeatedly seen evidence of health benefits from increased vitamin D levels in people with very low levels, while for others there appears to be little or no benefit. benefits,” said the study’s author. Elina HypponenPhD, professor at the University of Australia and director of the Australian Center for Precision Healthin a Press release.

Hyppönen explained that vitamin D is a hormone precursor that inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-12 (IL-12).

“By doing this, it works to alter immune responses so that T cell polarization moves away from an inflammatory-like response (Th1) towards the production of more protective T cell phenotypes (Th2 and regulatory T cells)” , said Hyppönen. Health line.

According to the study, these actions can help reduce inflammation, thereby reducing the risk or severity of many chronic diseases.

The study data also indicate that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is around 40% in some European countries.

Therefore, the authors suggest that increasing vitamin D intake in the population by adding it to widely consumed food items could be a cost-effective way to reduce chronic disease.

Although the research found an association between vitamin D and CRP, it also had some limitations. For example, the participants were people of white British descent. Thus, it is not known whether these results transfer to people of other racial or ethnic groups.

Moreover, CRP is not the only biomarker implicated in inflammation. Other biomarkers may also indicate an inflammatory response, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Scientists say further investigations should look at these biomarkers to fully understand the anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D.

“For many diseases and influences, evidence of causation [is] yet to be established, and we need to dig deeper into the effects on difficult outcomes such as mortality risk,” Hyppönen said. “It also appears that preventing severe vitamin D deficiency is key to many of the likely benefits, and we need to develop effective strategies to target and treat those who need it.”

According to experts, vitamin D deficiency occurs when serum levels of 25(OH)D in the blood are below 20 of/mL. Serum levels of 20 to 30 ng/mL are considered insufficient.

“Vitamin D deficiency can manifest in many ways, including muscle pain, weakness, depression, poor bone health, and fatigue,” Iza Correllicensed medical associate and founder of OVI Healthtold Healthline.

Correll added that properly diagnosing vitamin D deficiency is critical because the treatment plan can vary depending on the severity.

“If a deficiency is suspected, your doctor will likely order a blood test to measure the level of vitamin D in your blood. The most common diagnostic test for vitamin D deficiency is a blood test to measure the level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the blood,” she explained.

As for treatments, Correll noted that “treatment for vitamin D deficiency usually involves taking supplements or, most importantly, increasing sun exposure to a minimum of 10 minutes per day.”

“Most people with vitamin D deficiency need 400-800 IU of vitamin D daily to bring their levels back to normal. Your doctor may also recommend that you increase your intake of vitamin D-rich foods, such as fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk or cereals,” she added.

Chronic inflammation is thought to be a factor in many health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases, among others.

The latest research suggests that vitamin D may help reduce chronic inflammation, but only in people with vitamin D deficiency.

Preventing and treating a vitamin D deficiency involves making sure you have an adequate but safe amount of sun exposure and consuming foods rich in vitamin D. Supplementing with appropriate amounts of this essential nutrient can also help reduce the risk of deficiency.

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