Vitamin D supplements may benefit lupus

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Supplementation with vitamin D could help to battle systemic lupus by modifying immune responses, suggest researchers.

The clinical study provides preliminary evidence that vitamin D supplementation could modulate the immune system to help battle systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) – a debilitating autoimmune disease characterized not only by skin, joint, neurological and renal symptoms, but also by inflammation of tissue linings in the body.

Writing in Arthritis Research and Therapy​, researchers evaluate the safety and immunological effects of vitamin D supplementation in 20 SLE patients with low vitamin D levels - finding that patients over six months, finding that vitamin D was not only well-tolerated but there were no SLE flare-ups during the follow-up period.

Led by Nathalie Costedoat-Chalumeau from the Hôpitaux de Paris, France, the team showed that vitamin D caused an increase in beneficial CD4+ immune cells, in addition to boosting levels of Treg immune cells and a lowering effector Th1 and Th17 cells.

Costedoat-Chalumeau said she believes that the findings confirm that vitamin D may also play other roles in the immune system, adding that although the results are preliminary, they do suggest that vitamin D provides beneficial immunological effects for systemic lupus.

The full study can be found here.

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