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Another study shows that D levels are inversely associated with markers of SLE disease activity

Posted on: November 7, 2011   by  John Cannell, MD


Several months ago I blogged about several studies that show the lower your vitamin D level, the worse your symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE). SLE most often harms the joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, and nervous system and can be fatal, although this is becoming less likely. The course of the disease varies with flares alternating with remissions. However, wouldn’t you know, the disease tends to flare in the winter and early spring, when vitamin D levels are their lowest.

The disease is also more common among Blacks than among Whites. Sound like a familiar theme? Remember, the summertime improvements in SLE symptoms more than suggest the disease is related to vitamin D, it suggests vitamin D may have a treatment effect on SLE.

Schlesinger N, Schlesinger M, Seshan SV. Seasonal variation of lupus nephritis: high prevalence of class V lupus nephritis during the winter and spring. J Rheumatol. 2005 Jun;32(6):1053-7.

The study from Iran marked the fifth of its kind that showed the lower your vitamin D levels, the worse your SLE.In March of 2011, a group from Alzahra Hospital in Isfahan, Iran, led by Dr. Bonakdar, discovered that vitamin D levels are inversely associated with markers of SLE disease activity. That is, the lower your vitamin D levels, the worse your SLE. That makes the fifth study to show such associations. No wonder those poor people following the Marshall Protocol, which advocates low vitamin D levels, keep getting sicker and sicker.

Bonakdar Z, Jahanshahifar L, Jahanshahifar F, Gholamrezaei A. Vitamin D deficiency and its association with disease activity in new cases of systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus. 2011;20(11):1155-60.

Here is a sample letter sent in after one of my prior blogs:

“My sister was diagnosed with lupus more than 8 years ago and was on strong medication. The side effects of the drugs were debilitating; she was like an old woman.

She has taken vitamin D supplements for the past 6 months. Her last blood examination showed no signs of lupus. The baffled doctor asked her to reduce her steroid intake, but she told him she had just thrown the steroids away. She is now getting back to normality after having lost 8 years of her life.”

If you have lupus, how much vitamin D should you take? That’s easy, same as everyone else: 5,000 IU/day. In other words, as Dr. Bonakdar says,

“Routine screening for vitamin D deficiency and its proper treatment in patients diagnosed with SLE is recommended.”

There is no reason to be vitamin D deficient if you have SLE. Moreover, your SLE may well improve, or even disappear.

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