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Sun’s Rays May Keep Arthritis At Bay

Posted Feb 21 2013 10:10pm

Previously, some epidemiologic studies have found a correlation between an increased incidence of RA and other autoimmune diseases with higher latitude of residence. As well,  experimental studies have demonstrated immunosuppressive effects of UV-B, which also increases vitamin D synthesis in the skin, that in turn, has immunomodulatory properties.  Elizabeth V Arkema, from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts USA), and colleagues analyzed cumulative UVB flux data for 106,368 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and 115,561 women in the subsequent Nurses’ Health Study II according to the state in which they lived.  In NHS, which began in 1976, women (ages 30 to 55) living in states with the highest ultraviolet B (UVB) intensity had a 21% lower risk for RA compared with those living in states with low UVB levels. But in NHSII, initiated in 1989 in women ages 25 to 42, no significantly lower risk was seen.  The study authors report that: "These results suggest that ambient UV-B exposure is associated with a lower RA risk in NHS, but not NHSII. Differences in sun-protective behaviours (eg, greater use of sun block in younger generations) may explain the disparate results."

Elizabeth V Arkema, Jaime E Hart, Kimberly A Bertrand, Francine Laden, Francine Grodstein, et al.  “Extended report: Exposure to ultraviolet-B and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis among women in the Nurses’ Health Study.”  Ann Rheum Dis., 4 February 2013.

  
Exposure to sunlight associates with a decreased incidence of rheumatoid arthritis, among women.
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Among older women, Vitamin D supplementation extends longevity.
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #127 - Delay Death with Vitamin D
The therapeutic role of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," for bone health, has become well established. A number of recent studies now link vitamin D deficiency to adverse health consequences such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some infectious diseases.

Johns Hopkins University (Maryland, USA) researchers reported that low blood levels of Vitamin D are associated with a 26% increased risk of death from any cause. The team analyzed data collected on 13,331 adults during a 6-year period after which the subjects were followed for 9 years. People with Vitamin D levels of less than 17.8 ng/mL had a 26% increased rate of death from any cause, compared to people with the highest Vitamin D levels (more than 32.1 ng/mL).

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) reported that those individuals taking vitamin D supplements are at a 7% lower risk of death, as compared to those who did not supplement.

As well, Vitamin D inhibits the body’s inflammatory response and thus reduces the turnover of leukocytes (a type of white blood cell). The length of the leukocyte telomere (the endcap of the chromosome) is a predictor of aging-related disease, whereby it shortens as a result of increased inflammation. A team from King's College, London School of Medicine (United Kingdom) found that people with longer telomeres have higher levels of Vitamin D stored in their bodies. The team reports that: “The difference … was … equivalent to five years of telomeric aging,” suggesting that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may age more slowly than people with lower levels.
 
 
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