“Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation that leads to tissue damage in the joints,” emergency medicine physician Katie Golden, M.D. explains. “Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis5, as well as correlate with disease severity.”
According to a 2016 review from Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, approximately 55% of RA patients6 are deficient in vitamin D. Additionally, research shows an inverse relationship between RA and vitamin D, in that activity increases when D status decreases.
“Other studies have suggested that increasing vitamin D intake may help alleviate symptoms,” Golden shares. “This makes sense, given vitamin D plays an important role in bone health.” She adds that most of the existing studies researching the connection between RA and vitamin D are small, so more research is needed.