Vitamin D may prevent inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, research suggested in November 2017.
The so-called ‘sunshine supplement’ strengthens the immune system, which helps to prevent the body from attacking healthy cells and causing autoimmune conditions, like arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes joint swelling, may also benefit from vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory effects.
Yet, as the painful joint condition reduces a sufferer’s vitamin D sensitivity, patients may not benefit from taking such supplements once they have developed the disorder, or at least not at recommended doses, according to the researchers.
Study author Dr Louisa Jeffery from the University of Birmingham, said: ‘Our research indicates that maintaining sufficient vitamin D may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
‘However, for patients who already have rheumatoid arthritis, simply providing vitamin D might not be enough. Instead much higher doses may be needed’.
The researchers analysed blood and joint fluid from rheumatoid arthritis patients.