If you suffer from chronic inflammation, a vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.
A new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a direct link between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of inflammation, providing an important biomarker to identify those at higher risk of, or severity of, chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component.
Researchers from the University of South Australia examined random genetic data of 294 ,970 unrelated participants with White-British ancestry from the U.K. Biobank. Researchers looked to show a correlation between vitamin D and C-reactive protein levels, which are indicators of inflammation.
Previous research suggested that a lack of vitamin D, could result in higher levels of C-reactive protein. However, this study aimed to determine whether low vitamin D levels cause inflammation.
The researchers found evidence supporting the theory that vitamin D levels impact C-reactive protein levels, meaning that lower vitamin D levels do trigger the response from the C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. The researchers also found no evidence supporting C-reactive protein having an impact on vitamin D concentrations. This means that low levels of vitamin D do cause inflammation, but not vice versa.
Chronic inflammation is thought to be a factor in many health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, among others. The latest research suggests that vitamin D may help reduce chronic inflammation — but only in people with a vitamin D deficiency.