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New research links vitamin D deficiency to chronic inflammation

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New research links vitamin D deficiency to chronic inflammation
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Sydney: Chronic inflammation has been identified as a symptom of several illnesses. Recent research suggests that there might be a direct link between deficiency of vitamin D and higher levels of inflammation.

Experts at the University of South Australia have identified a biomarker that puts people at higher risk of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component. While inflammation is essential to the body's healing process, chronic inflammation can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.

Lead researcher Ang Zhou said boosting vitamin D levels in the body may reduce inflammation. "Inflammation is your body's way of protecting your tissues if you've been injured or have an infection." His team found a one-way relationship between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of C-reactive protein.

The scientists examined the genetic data of 294,970 participants to demonstrate the association between vitamin D and C-reactive protein levels, an indicator of inflammation. "High levels of C-reactive protein are generated by the liver in response to inflammation, so when your body is experiencing chronic inflammation, it also shows higher levels of C-reactive protein," said the researcher.

Experts think that having adequate vitamin D concentrations may mitigate complications arising from obesity and reduce the risk or severity of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component.

Professor Elina Hypponen, Director at the varsity's Australian Centre for Precision Health, said there has been repeated evidence of the health benefits of increasing vitamin D concentrations in individuals with very low levels.

"While for others, there appears to be little to no benefit. These findings highlight the importance of avoiding clinical vitamin D deficiency, and provide further evidence for the wide-ranging effects of hormonal vitamin D," she added.

The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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TAGS:vitamin D inflammation chronic inflammation obesity heart disease 
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