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עמוד בית
Wed, 19.06.24

Reviews

IMAJ | volume 19

Journal 7, July 2017
pages: 438-443

Vitamin D and Autoimmune Diseases: Is Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) Polymorphism the Culprit?

Summary

Vitamin D deficiency is becoming an increasing problem worldwide. It should not be underestimated, not only due to the well-known consequences vitamin D deficiency has on bone health, but primarily because recent studies have shown how the biologically active form of vitamin D – 1,25(OH)2D – is involved in many biological processes, including immune system modulation. Moreover, the presence of a vitamin D receptor was discovered in almost all immune cells and some of its polymorphisms were found to be associated with increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. This finding led to a proposed link between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune diseases. Patients affected by various autoimmune diseases showed low levels of vitamin D. However, it is not always clear whether vitamin D deficiency is the cause or rather a consequence of the disease. Limitations of the studies, such as the small number of patients, heterogeneity of selected groups, environmental conditions, methods used to measure vitamin D serum concentration and other confounding factors do not lead to unequivocal results to demonstrate a direct link between low vitamin D levels and autoimmune disease. Therefore, randomized trials are needed to clarify conflicting results.

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