Vitamin D Affects Genes For Cancer And Autoimmune Diseases
A study has linked vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk for cancer and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis MS, and lupus.
Researchers found, through mapping vitamin D receptor binding throughout the human genome, that vitamin D deficiency is a major environmental factor in increasing the risk of developing these disorders.
And 70 percent of children and adults in the US are vitamin D deficient. The cause of deficiency is a combination of not enough sun exposure, and a diet low in vitamin D.
Hydroxychloroquine, or Plaquenil, and corticosteroids, which both can be prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, are among these. Even if you are taking one of these drugs, your doctor can adjust your vitamin D dose to correct the malabsorption.
You can ask your doctor for a simple blood test called, 25-hydroxy vitamin D test.
To increase your level of vitamin D through food, you should include more oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and tuna. Egg yolks and mushrooms also provide vitamin D, or you could choose a cereal and milk fortified with vitamin D.
However, this is without sunblock in the summer, and it is not recommended to expose your skin to the sun without sunblock for long amounts of time. This can cause skin damage and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Not only does vitamin D play a crucial role in the absorption of calcium, but it staves off osteoporosis, which can be a risk for people with RA. It also protects those susceptible to seasonal affective disorder from becoming depressed.
Vitamin D plays a role in managing musculoskeletal pain from rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. It's common for people who live with chronic pain to have a vitamin D deficiency, and for doctors to routinely check their patients and offer Vitamin D supplements as part of the treatment plan.