A recent study has found that low vitamin D levels may lead to more active juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a medical condition with unknown causes that affects children 16 years of age and younger. It is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakenly attacks the joints, which causes swelling, pain, and limitation of movement. The disease can either last a few years, or much longer.
A lot of research has looked at vitamin D’s role in autoimmune diseases. Researchers are interested if higher vitamin D levels may help smarten the immune system and manage some aspects of an autoimmune disease, such as JIA.
Currently, there is limited research on the relationship between vitamin D and JIA in specific populations.
Researchers at the University Hospital of Rabat-Salé in Morocco recently measured the vitamin D levels of 40 children who had been diagnosed with JIA. The researchers wanted to find out if vitamin D levels were related to how active JIA was in these children.
The results showed that 75% of the children had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml. The researchers found that children with low vitamin D levels had more active JIA.
“This study adds evidence to the growing knowledge regarding vitamin D and autoimmunity. Additional research, with a larger sample of children, is needed to confirm our findings,” the researchers concluded.