Scientists from the University of South Australia found a direct link between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of inflammation.
This provides an important biomarker to identify people at higher risk of or severity of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component.
Inflammation is an essential part of the body’s healing process.
But when it persists, it can contribute to a wide range of complex diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
In the study, the team examined the genetic data of 294 970 participants in the UK Biobank.
They found an association between vitamin D and C-reactive protein levels, an indicator of inflammation.
The findings suggest that boosting vitamin D in people with a deficiency may reduce chronic inflammation.
High levels of C-reactive protein are generated by the liver in response to inflammation, so when the body is experiencing chronic inflammation, it also shows higher levels of C-reactive protein.
The study found a one-way relationship between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of C-reactive protein, expressed as inflammation.
The team says boosting vitamin D in people with deficiencies may reduce chronic inflammation, helping them avoid a number of related diseases.
The study also raises the possibility that having adequate vitamin D may lower complications arising from obesity and reduce the risk or severity of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component, such as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.
The team says these results are important and provide an explanation for some of the controversies in reported associations with vitamin D.
These findings highlight the importance of avoiding clinical vitamin D deficiency and provide further evidence for the wide-ranging effects of hormonal vitamin D.
If you care about inflammation, please read studies about new way to treat inflammation, and this diet could prevent inflammation in older people.
For more information about inflammation, please see recent studies about a new way to reverse chronic inflammation and aging, and results showing daily avocado may help reduce inflammation in overweight people.
The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and conducted by Dr. Ang Zhou et al.
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