According to a recent study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, there is a direct relationship between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of inflammation in the body. The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency leads to higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers. Moreover, improving vitamin D status or taking its supplements in deficient people might reduce the risk or severity of chronic health conditions caused by with inflammation.
The researchers from the University of South Australia analysed random genetic data of 294 ,970 study participants with White-British ancestry from the U.K. Biobank. They found evidence that supports the claim that vitamin D levels can affect C-reactive protein levels, indicating that deficiency of vitamin D can trigger the response from the C-reactive protein, a component of inflammation. The researchers did not found any evidence claiming that C-reactive protein affects vitamin D concentrations. This means that lower levels of vitamin D do lead to inflammation, but not vice versa.
As per the results of this study, only people who have a vitamin D deficiency have high levels of C-reactive protein, which means more inflammation. On the other hand, the study’s conclusions also cleared that balancing the requirement of vitamin D in affected people can reduce inflammation and even lower the risk or severity of chronic health problems caused by inflammatory components. Thus, the inflammation because of vitamin D deficiency can be reversed if vitamin D concentrations are restored to the normal levels, according to the study.
While talking about how vitamin D levels can affect levels of inflammation to Medical News Today, Dr. Elina Hypponen, professor of nutritional and genetic epidemiology at the University of South Australia, and one of the authors of this study, said, "In cellular and animal experiments, the hormonal vitamin D inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-12 (IL-12)." In the research paper, the scientists noted that vitamin D can also improve the production of IL-10, which is an anti-inflammatory cytokine.