Lower Rheumatoid Arthritis Rates Linked To Vitamin D

Life Extension Featured Article

April 13, 2010

Lower rheumatoid arthritis rates linked to vitamin D

Lower rheumatoid arthritis rates linked to vitamin D

Findings reported in an article published online on March 25, 2010 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggest that increased vitamin D from sunlight exposure could have a protective effect against rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune disease with unknown causes.

For the current investigation, Boston University School of Public Health associate professor of environmental health Verónica Vieira, MS, DSc and her colleagues analyzed data from the Nurses' Health Study, which enrolled female nurses in the United States beginning in 1976. Four hundred sixty-one participants diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1988 and 2002 were compared to 9,220 control subjects who did not have the disease. The researchers examined the association between rheumatoid arthritis risk and residential address as ascertained from questionnaires completed every two years from 1988 to 2002.

The team found a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis among women living in the northeastern United States, suggesting that less sunlight exposure, and, consequently, decreased vitamin D production, could be a factor in the development of the disease. A slightly greater risk was found for higher latitude residence in 1988 compared with the time of diagnosis, suggesting that long term exposure could be more important than recent exposure.

"There's higher risk in the northern latitudes," Dr Vieira stated. "This might be related to the fact that there's less sunlight in these areas, which results in a vitamin D deficiency."

"The results were unexpected," she added. "Prior to the analysis, we were more interested in the relationship with air pollution. I hadn't given latitudes much thought."

"A geographic association with northern latitudes has also been observed for multiple sclerosis and Crohn's 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 write in their discussion of the findings. "Further analysis that examines the relationship between vitamin D exposure and rheumatoid arthritis is warranted to explore these results."

Printer Friendly Save as PDF Email this Page View Archive Subscribe Today
Health Concern Life Extension Highlight

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a degenerative autoimmune disease in which the joints are attacked by an abnormal immune response and slowly destroyed. RA is much less common than osteoarthritis (OA), occurring in about 1 percent of the population and affecting women two to three times more frequently than men. The first symptoms typically appear between the ages of 25 and 50, although it can occur at any age, even childhood (juvenile RA). Unlike OA, RA is a systemic disease. It can affect organ systems throughout the body, not just the joints. Problems associated with RA include inflamed blood vessels, heart attack, neuropathy, lung complications, and others.

As with any disease, it is important to regularly track your progress and begin treatment early. People who suffer from arthritis should consider a cytokine profile and C-reactive protein blood test to measure the levels of inflammation throughout their body. These initial measurements provide a baseline for tracking disease therapy.

The following may help provide nutritional support to rheumatoid arthritis patients:

  • EPA and DHA—2100 milligrams (mg) EPA and 1500 mg DHA daily
  • GLA—900 to 1800 mg daily
  • Boswellic acid—300 mg daily
  • Curcumin—900 mg daily, with 5 mg Bioperine® piperine
  • Ginger—60 mg daily
  • Bioflavonoids, including nobiletin—300 mg daily
  • Nettle leaf extract—375 to 500 mg daily
  • SAMe—400 to 1200 mg daily
  • Glucosamine—500 mg daily
  • Green tea extract—725 mg green tea powder daily, yielding at least 246 mg of EGCG
  • Vitamin C—1 to 3 grams (g) daily
  • Vitamin E—400 international units (IU) daily (with at least 200 mg gamma-tocopherol)
  • N-acetylcysteine—600 mg daily
  • DHEA—15 to 75 mg daily, with blood testing after 3 to 6 weeks to determine optimal levels

Life Extension Vacations®
Fourth Annual Fountain of Life Cruise
November 6-13, 2010

7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise, round trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Ports of call: Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas;
Philipsburg, St Maarten; Nassau, Bahamas

Oasis of the Seas

Sailing on the magnificent Royal Caribbean's OASIS of the SEASSM

Come cruise with us and network with Life Extension members, attend anti-aging seminars, see breathtaking scenery, relax and enjoy glorious days of sailing with 24-hour dining and non-stop entertainment aboard the most innovative and imaginative ship yet, Oasis of the SeasSM. Invite your family and friends to join us and get ready for a unique and luxurious learning experience with the Life Extension organization, a global authority on nutrition, health and wellness.

You'll enjoy

  • An architectural marvel at sea! Oasis of the SeasSM features a collection of amazing experiences never before imagined at sea
  • Amenities never seen afloat before!
  • Presentations highlighting the latest in integrative therapies and anti-aging research
  • Previews on cutting-edge anti-aging products
  • One-on-one personal advisor appointments with Life Extension Consultants
  • Free 6-month Life Extension membership for all attendees
  • NEW! Health screening onboard!
  • And much more to help in your quest for optimal health!

Past Life Extension cruisers: Save $75 per person on the 2010 Life Extension Cruise.

*Please note that Life Extension Vacations is not affiliated with or a part of the Life Extension Foundation®, which supports anti-aging research, or the Life Extension Foundation Buyers Club.

Featured Products

Blueberry Extract Capsules

add to cart

Blueberry Extract Capsules contain a combination of highly concentrated wild blueberry extracts (not cultivated).These extracts are standardized to natural compounds that have the highest physiological activity for the health benefits associated with consumption of fresh blueberries.

To augment the benefits of this healthful fruit, a new wild blueberry extract has been added to Blueberry Extract that provides more potent active ingredients than cultivated blueberries. Blueberry Extract contains AuroraBlue® wild Alaskan blueberries, which possess nearly 10 times the antioxidant capacity of cultivated berries.

Super Saw Palmetto/Nettle Root Formula with Beta-Sitosterol

add to cart

Saw palmetto has been shown to interfere with DHT activity in the prostate, inhibit alpha-adrenergic receptor activity (to support normal urinary flow), and help control inflammatory actions in the prostate gland.

Super Saw Palmetto/Nettle Root with Beta-Sitosterol combines the saw palmetto extract with a methanolic nettle root extract and boron to support a healthy prostate.

This saw palmetto extract has been standardized to contain 85% free fatty acids and sterols. Aqueous 20% methanolic stinging nettle extract contains no residual methane. The phytosterol complex contains a natural ratio of concentrated plant sterols derived from vegetable and seed oils such as soybean, rapeseed, sunflower seed, and corn.

News Archive

Life Extension Update

What's Hot

Life Extension Magazine®

If you have questions or comments concerning this issue or past issues of Life Extension Update, send them to or call 1-800-678-8989.
Sign up for Life Extension Update

For copyright permission, please refer to Life Extension copyright policy

For Customer Service inquiries please email or call 1 800 678 8989.