There are over 160 autoimmune diseases, everything from type one diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to Celiac disease. They come from a hypersensitive immune response to substances (ex. food sensitivities) and tissues normally present in the body. The body makes immune complexes to these substances and attacks itself. The common treatment of autoimmune diseases today is to suppress the immune system with medications such as corticosteroids and biological drugs.

Recently a Chinese group led by Dr. C Mok and colleagues from Tuen Mun Hospital in Hong Kong studied 290 lupus patients and confirmed that the lower your vitamin D level, the worse your lupus. Dr. Mok also found that 96% of the lupus patients were insufficient in vitamin D.

Professor Luis Munoz and colleagues from Erlangen University Hospital in Germany revealed new insight into how vitamin D is involved in autoimmune disorders stating that every one of the 160 autoimmune disorders studied so far is somehow involved with vitamin D. What could the connection be, what do 160 autoimmune diseases have in common with vitamin D?

Dr. Munoz explains that vitamin D (the repair and maintenance man of the human body) has a “waste removal” function controlled by the immune system. Vitamin D is also a garbage man for the human body. It stimulates the immune system to come around and collect the debris and what is left of cells that have gone through the normal process of apoptosis (cell death).


Vitamin D council, Vitamin D linked to autoimmune disorders, April 12, 2012 by John Cannell, MD

Mok CC, Birmingham DJ, Leung HW, Hebert LA, Song H, Rovin BH. Vitamin D levels in Chinese patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: relationship with disease activity, vascular risk factors and atherosclerosis Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Apr;51(4):644-52. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Munoz LE, Schiller M, Zhao Y, Voll RE, Schett G, Herrmann M. Do low vitamin D levels cause problems of waste removal in patients with SLE? Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Apr;51(4):585-7. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

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