Vitamin D is frequently prescribed by rheumatologists to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Several observations have shown that vitamin D inhibits proinflammatory processes by suppressing the enhanced activity of immune cells that take part in the autoimmune reaction. Moreover, recent evidence strongly suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be therapeutically beneficial, particularly for Th1-mediated autoimmune disorders. Some reports imply that vitamin D may even be preventive in certain disorders such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes type 1. It seems that vitamin D has crossed the boundaries of calcium metabolism and has become a significant factor in a number of physiological functions, specifically as a biological inhibitor of inflammatory hyperactivity.
- 1,25(OH)2D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3
- 25(OH)D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D
- GM-CSF, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor
- IFNγ, interferon γ
- IL, interleukin
- NFκB, nuclear factor κB
- SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus
- VDR, vitamin D receptor
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Published Online First 8 June 2007
Competing interests: None.