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Vitamin D low in patients with rheumatic disease

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FRIDAY June 13, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- About three quarters of patients with rheumatic diseases affecting the joints, muscles, bones, and tendons were found to have a vitamin D deficiency, according to researchers in Ireland.

Dr. Muhammad Haroon at South Infirmary, Victoria University Hospital, Cork measured vitamin D in 231 patients visiting their rheumatology clinic between January and June, 2007.

Low vitamin D levels were found in 70 percent of the patients (162) and a severe deficiency was found in 26 percent. The deficiency patterns were the same for both younger and older patients.

The findings were reported at the European Union League Against Rheumatism's 2008 meeting in Paris.

Vitamin D is best known for its role in the maintenance of healthy bones. Recent studies have revealed that at high doses, this hormone may effectively prevent a number of cancers including prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer and heart attacks or heart failure.

Vitamin D is naturally synthesized after the skin is exposed to sunshine. It can also be obtained from oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, egg yolks, and fortified foods. Supplements are another convenient source for the vitamin.


By Sue Mueller, and edited by Heather Kelley
Jun 13, 2008 - 1:37:45 PM

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