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Vitamin D in systemic lupus erythematosus

Kamen, Dianea; Aranow, Cynthiab

doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32830a991b
Systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome: Edited by Betty Diamond

Purpose of review There is growing interest in the contribution of vitamin D deficiency to autoimmunity. It is therefore timely to review the immunologic actions of vitamin D and the evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to autoimmune disease in animal models and to systemic lupus erythematosus in epidemiologic studies.

Recent findings A number of recent studies have highlighted the association between systemic lupus erythematosus and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency skews the immunologic response towards loss of tolerance. Adding vitamin D in vitro reverses immunologic abnormalities characteristic of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Summary Multiple systemic lupus erythematosus cohorts have low vitamin D levels. The physiologic and clinical consequences of vitamin D deficiency in systemic lupus erythematosus are not entirely known. Prospective studies of vitamin D in systemic lupus erythematosus are limited, but most cross-sectional studies show an inverse relationship between levels of vitamin D and disease activity. This suggests that repletion of vitamin D may have benefits beyond bone health for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

aMedical University of South Carolina, USA

bFeinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhasset, New York, USA

Correspondence to Cynthia Aranow, MD, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA Tel: +1 516 562 3837; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.