LONDON — Vitamin D supplementation could be considered an immunomodulatory agent for systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease characterized not only by skin, joint, neurological and renal symptoms, but also by inflammation of tissue linings in the body, according to a new clinical study published Tuesday in BioMedCentral's open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.
An immunomodulatory agent has an effect on the immune system.
In a prospective clinical trial, Nathalie Costedoat-Chalumeau and colleagues set out to evaluate the safety and immunological effects of vitamin D supplementation in 20 SLE patients with low vitamin D levels. They observed these patients over six months and found that vitamin D was not only well-tolerated but, more importantly, there also were no SLE flare-ups during the follow-up period. The authors found that no modification of existing immunosuppressant drugs was needed, nor any new drugs initiated.
Costedoat-Chalumeau stated that the findings confirm that vitamin D may also play other roles in the immune system.