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Category: Autoimmune Diseases
Vitamin D tests may reveal risk for Lupus
Lupus, the autoimmune disorder which recently received a media spotlight in the wake of Michael Jackson's death, may be catalyzed by low levels of vitamin D in people susceptible to the disease, according to new research.
Scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation found that people whose vitamin D tests showed low levels of the nutrient had higher levels of antibodies geared to attacking the body's own tissues. The correlation held true for both lupus patients and those without the disease.
"Vitamin D could be beneficial to lupus patients and people who are at increased risk of developing the disease, such as their family members," lead author Dr Judith James told The Oklahoman, adding that "with vitamin D supplements, doctors might be able to reduce the chances of an autoimmune attack."
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans have the disease. Of those, 90 percent are women but when men do have the disease they tend to have a more active form. The disease most commonly develops between the ages of 15 and 44, and is less common among Caucasians than it is among minorities.
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