have found women who eat a diet rich in vitamin D may reduce
their chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple
sclerosis (MS). Two studies involving women have shown proof
of the vitamin's benefits.
The RA study followed 29,368 women aged 55 to 69 years, and
the MS study looked at more than 185,000 women. The participants
were given questionnaires to fill out about their dietary
habits and vitamin D intake at the beginning of each study,
and researchers followed up with the women every four years
for up to 20 years. They discovered that women were 30 percent
less likely to develop RA, and 40 percent less likely to develop
MS, when taking the recommended daily amount or more of vitamin
Out of 100 people worldwide, one or two will develop RA and
around 0.04 percent have MS. Both of these conditions are
thought to occur when the body’s immune system turns
against itself. Researchers suggest that vitamin D may work
by calming overactive immune cells.
Responding to this study, vitamin D experts advise future
researchers studying vitamin D levels to administer a blood
test to read the levels more accurately, and cautioned that
this study did not use the best way to determine vitamin D
levels in the participants.
January, 2004 13;62(1):60-5
& Rheumatism January, 2004;50(1):72-7