While many individuals know the importance of consuming the nutritional supplement vitamin D, some may not realize that having a deficiency of the nutrient may increase their risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
According to researchers from Boston University School of Public Health, there is a definitive link between vitamin D and the risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
Previous studies have suggested that the disease is brought on by air pollution, which is what the researchers were originally looking into. However, upon further investigation, it was determined that having a vitamin D deficiency may increase ones chances for developing the condition.
It was noted that individuals who live in more northern latitudes had lower levels of vitamin D because they were exposed to less sunlight. This group of individuals showed a higher prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis.
“A geographic association with northern latitudes has also been observed for multiple sclerosis and Crohns disease, other autoimmune diseases that may be mediated by reduced vitamin D from decreased solar exposure and the immune effects of vitamin D deficiency,” the authors wrote.