Now, it has been found that women with highest levels of vitamin D intake are about one third less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
To determine the effect of vitamin D intake on rheumatoid arthritis risk, Saag’s team analyzed data from nearly 30,000 women, between 55 and 69 years of age, who participated in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. All of the women were rheumatoid arthritis-free at study entry in 1986, and vitamin D intake was ascertained through food frequency questionnaires.
During the 11-year follow-up period, 152 confirmed cases of rheumatoid arthritis were identified, the investigators report.
Both dietary and supplemental vitamin D intake were inversely linked with rheumatoid arthritis risk, the authors found. High dietary (at least 290 IU/day) and supplemental (at least 400 IU/day) intake were associated with 28 percent and 34 percent reductions, respectively, in the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
However, only the association between vitamin D supplement intake and rheumatoid arthritis risk was statistically significant.
No single food item high in vitamin D or calcium was strongly linked to rheumatoid arthritis risk, the researchers point out. However, there was a trend toward a lower rheumatoid arthritis risk with greater intake of milk products.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Therefore, like this study suggests, if our immune system is improved by Vitamin C, our risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis is lessen. Besides, a direct effect is not yet known.
Let’s see…what are the sources of Vitamin D, aside from sunlight and the supplemental form?
Food sources of Vitamin D are milk products and some ready-to-eat cereal breakfast that are fortified with Vitamin D.
About 98% to 99% of the milk supply in the U.S. is fortified with 10 micrograms (ìg) (equal to 400 International Units or IU) of vitamin D per quart.
One cup of vitamin D fortified milk supplies one-half of the recommended daily intake for adults between the ages of 19 and 50, one-fourth of the recommended daily intake for adults between the ages of 51 and 70, and approximately 15% of the recommended daily intake for adults age 71 and over.
Read this fact sheet for the enumerated natural food sources of vitamin D and everything there is to know about this vitamin.
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