Vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis: an ongoing mystery

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Abstract

Purpose of review

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the value of vitamin D and its effects on autoimmunity. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on the association between vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in terms of prevalence, disease activity, clinical expression, serology and gene polymorphisms of vitamin D receptors.

Recent findings

Studies have shown contrasting findings concerning the association between vitamin D levels and RA. Vitamin D seems to have immunomodulatory properties. Therefore, low vitamin D levels could contribute to increased immune activation. However, the potential role of vitamin D supplementation in preventing RA manifestation and its beneficial role as a component of RA treatment remain controversial. The relationship between RA susceptibility and vitamin D polymorphisms is also unclear.

Summary

Despite advancements synthesized by some recent meta-analyses, the relationship between vitamin D and RA requires further evaluation. Further research is needed to confirm the relationship between RA susceptibility and vitamin D polymorphisms and to determine whether vitamin D plays a role in preventing the manifestation of RA. Finally, additional studies are required to determine the impact and optimal amount of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of RA patients.

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