Arthritis is a very common disease however very few people actually know what this disease is all about. It is common but not well understood.
This disease is also called joint disease as it mostly affects the joints. There are many different types of arthritis and people of all ages and sexes can get arthritis. However it still occurs more in women and as you get older.
Arthritis is the most common disease in America and more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children are suffering from varied types of arthritis. Common symptoms of arthritis are swelling, pain, stiffness, fatigue, and lack of movement. These symptoms can disable a person to carry out simple day to day activities.
The most sever symptom is the inflammation of the knee. The ends of the joints are covered with cartilage which protects them from wear and tear. If proper medications are not taken to control this inflammation, then it can erode the cartilage which can cause excessive rubbing of the joints. This can eventually call for a need to have knee replacement surgery.
This can eventually call for a need to have knee replacement surgery.
In some cases, it has also been seen that arthritis can cause damage to other organs as well like eyes and lungs.
Depression is very common among people suffering from arthritis as their movement is restricted which hampers their work, private, and social life. There are many organizations and support groups that help people recover faster and enjoy their lives to the fullest.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of arthritis. Those are genetic, work, and environmental factors. It can also be caused because of injury, abnormal metabolism, infections, problems with the immune system, and weight issues. It is very important to spot the right cause and improve it to slow down the progression of arthritis.
It is very important to spot the right cause and improve it to slow down the progression of arthritis.
The various medications for arthritis include painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, creams, and ointments. However sometimes because of lack of nutrition, arthritis can occur. It is essential to get a general body check up because there is a strong relation between arthritis and vitamin D.
It is essential to get a general body check up because there is a strong relation between arthritis and vitamin D.
Why is Vitamin D essential for health?
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the body as it helps maintain good overall health and strong and healthy bones.
It makes sure that the activities of heart, muscles, lungs, and brain are not declined and we are able to fight infections. The direct source of vitamin D is sunlight. Apart from that, we can obtain sunlight from different supplements and very little from the food we eat.
The direct source of vitamin D is sunlight. Apart from that, we can obtain sunlight from different supplements and very little from the food we eat.
The vitamin D that we get from sunlight and supplements has to be changed before it can be utilized by the body. Once
Once utilized, then it manages the amount of calcium absorption in blood and gut and helps the cells to communicate properly. The relation between vitamin D and bones was highlighted a long ago when it was reported that vitamin D prevents the occurrence of rickets in children.
More research has been conducted since then which have reported that vitamin D is useful in preventing and treating many diseases that affect long term health.
A difference between vitamin D and other vitamins is that our skin gets vitamin D from the sunlight, our body converts this vitamin D into an active hormone. This hormone is called “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol”.
Vitamin D is useful for many body functions like:
- Immune system
- Development of the brain
- Anti-cancer effects
- Cardiovascular health
- Respiratory function
How Vitamin D benefits in health and arthritis?
The mechanism by which vitamin D gets absorbed in your body is very less understood. When we expose ourselves to the sun, the skin absorbs the vitamin D and sends it to the liver.
If you take vitamin D via supplements or food, then the gut sends the vitamin D to the liver. The liver then converts this vitamin D to a chemical.
This chemical gets distributed throughout the body where the different organs then turn it into an active and functional vitamin D. This form of vitamin D then performs its actions on the body.
One of the most important functions of vitamin D is to maintain the level of calcium absorption in the body to make the bones stronger and healthier.
6 Awesome Benefits Of Vitamin D in Arthritis
Many research studies have examined the efficacy of vitamin D in arthritis and in this section we will be analyzing the benefits of vitamin D in arthritis.
1.Vitamin D acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
In arthritis, there is inflammation in the joints and other parts of the body as well. It is important to reduce inflammation in order to prevent the progression of arthritis.
In the immune system, vitamin D is responsible for a reduction in the level and activity of cytokines like IL-2 and IL-6 and also TNF-alpha (pro-inflammatory chemicals).
It also down regulates the expression of proteins that lead to the production of pro-inflammatory substances.
What does it mean?
This means that an intake of vitamin D can be beneficial in preventing the development and progression of arthritis. This is because of its ability to block the pathway of the production of compounds that cause inflammation and arthritis.
2.Vitamin D supplements attenuate vitamin D deficiency
A deficiency in vitamin D can be a serious cause for the development of arthritis. Vitamin D is essential to maintain bone health and physical activity.
Studies conducted have shown that people with arthritis have a lower level of vitamin D. Hence vitamin D supplements will be beneficial in attenuating the vitamin D deficiency.
What does it mean?
This means that it is important to consume enough vitamin D, either from sunlight or through supplements to maintain bone density and prevent the occurrence of bone diseases. It is essential to provide the body with the exact amount of vitamin D it needs for overall well-being.
3. Vitamin D benefits in lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks its own cells.
People who are suffering from this disease are asked to avoid the sun because the rays of the sun can cause rashes and also worsen the disease. This can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D which can cause many other chronic diseases in the joints, skin, lungs, brain, and heart.
Patients suffering from lupus disease tend to have more fractures and bone and joint diseases because of a lack of vitamin D.
In this study, it was seen that patients with arthritis have a higher level of homocysteine, lower bone mineral density, and more fractures. This increase in homocysteine increases heart problems. This makes the consumption of vitamin D supplements a necessity.
A study published in Lupus assessed the level of vitamin D in patients suffering from lupus but have not received any treatment. It was observed that if patients do not receive any treatment for lupus, they have a low level of vitamin D which increases the level of IL-17 and IL-23 (these increase inflammation in lupus).
Another study published in Integrative Medicine Insights reported that patients who are suffering from lupus have are deficient in vitamin D which worsens the condition. Hence regularly monitoring the level of vitamin D is essential.
A study was published in Immunologic Research in which it was reported that patients suffering from lupus have a lower level of vitamin D (an anti-inflammatory agent) and a higher level of IL-17 (pro-inflammatory agent).
The patients were given vitamin supplements for 6 months which had an immunologic and a clinical impact on the patients.
What does it mean?
This study shows that sometimes the occurrence of other disease can also lead to the development of arthritis. Hence if you are suffering from lupus disease, it is compulsory for you take vitamin D supplements to prevent the occurrence of other autoimmune diseases.
4.Vitamin D protects bone health
A chondroprotective compound prevents the progression of arthritis by reducing the symptoms. A study published in International Journal of Rheumatic diseases reported that in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there is a lack of vitamin D which decreases the mineral bone density.
Also, patients with rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
In Annals of Internal Medicine, a study was published in which patients with rheumatoid arthritis were given calcium and vitamin D3 supplements with anti-inflammatory medicines.
It was reported that this combination is effective in preventing loss of bone mineral density in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
What does this mean?
Vitamin D preserves bone and joint health by maintaining bone strength and mineral.
5.Vitamin D prevents progression of osteoarthritis
A study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research assessed the role of vitamin D in knee osteoarthritis.
When the patients were given vitamin D supplements, it was observed that vitamin D had a significantly beneficial effect in improving the characteristics of osteoarthritis like knee pain and joint function.
Another study published in The Journal of Nutrition reported that people who are deficient in vitamin D are at a higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.
A study published in BioMed Central assessed the benefits of vitamin D supplementation to control knee osteoarthritis. Vitamin D supplements reduced the loss of cartilage, knee pain, and other structural abnormalities.
What does this mean?
Research shows that supplementation with vitamin D in osteoarthritis patients relieves symptoms and helps control disease progression.
6.Vitamin D improves arthritic symptoms
A study was published in the journal Rheumatology which reported that the level of vitamin D in the body is associated with the disease activity, the level of cytokines which cause inflammation, and loss of bones in the patients.
Vitamin D reduces inflammation as it has an effect on the function of the immune system.
A study was conducted in PLoS One in which the association between vitamin D and arthritis was studied. It was reported that the level of vitamin D in serum was lower in patients with arthritis than healthy patients. Also, genetic and environmental factors play a major role in the development of arthritis.
Studies were conducted on murine models many years ago in which the positive effects of vitamin D in preventing the development and progression of arthritis were studied. When vitamin D supplementation was given, then the arthritis symptoms had decreased.
What does this mean?
The research that has been conducted to deduce the relationship between vitamin D and arthritis reported that there is a deficiency in vitamin D in patients with arthritis. A deficiency in vitamin D disrupts the function of the immune system and develops autoimmune diseases like arthritis.
Is vitamin D supplementation necessary in arthritis?
There is a linear relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the development of arthritis. This shows that vitamin D is absolutely essential for maintaining bone health and development.
Hence, people who are suffering from arthritis, they should make sure that they receive enough vitamin D to see a reduction in the symptoms of arthritis.
The amount of pain and disability you feel during arthritis increases with vitamin D deficiency. Considering vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium, people with enough vitamin D experience less pain because calcium is a natural painkiller and a relaxant.
Vitamin D has a positive effect in reducing the immune response.
What does this mean?
This means that if you suffering from arthritis, then it is beneficial to increase your intake of vitamin D because it is an essential nutrient to prevent the progression of arthritis. Apart from taking supplements, it is important to consume foods that have a high content of vitamin D to attain the maximum benefits.
Dosage of Vitamin D For Arthritis
The Institute of Medicine has reported that the general dose of vitamin D is dependent on age. People between 13 and 70 years of age can take 600 international units a day.
For adults older than 71 years old, 800 internal units of vitamin D daily is recommended.
However, it is very important to consult a doctor or general physician before taking any dose to prevent further harm to the body.
Precautions of consuming excess vitamin D
Vitamin D is usually safe when taken at appropriate amounts. However when a higher dose is taken, then people can experience fatigue, weakness, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.
If more than 4000 units of vitamin D is taken per day, then it is unsafe as it can cause an increase in the level of calcium in the body.
People with the following conditions should consult a doctor before taking vitamin D supplements :-
- Vitamin D is unsafe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as it can harm the infant.
- People with kidney disease should avoid taking vitamin D because an increase in the level of calcium can harden the arteries and in turn cause more harm.
- People who already have a high level of calcium in the body should not consume more vitamin D as it can make the condition worse.
- People who have kidney stones should also avoid taking vitamin D supplements as an increase in the calcium level can worsen the situation.
Sun is the major source of vitamin D and by absorbing enough sunlight and consuming foods and supplements high in vitamin D; we can enhance the level of vitamin D in our bodies.
Vitamin D plays a major role in maintaining bone health and development which makes it necessary for the body.
Research that has taken place has reported that a lower level of vitamin D can increase the risk of development of arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.
Hence if vitamin D has the potential to improve arthritic symptoms and overall health, then it is important to make sure that you consume enough of it.