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Vitamin D testing may benefit individuals who already have several key risk factors for developing arthritis, as two new European studies have found that a deficiency of the nutrient is associated with rheumatic diseases.
The first study, from the UK, found that 58 percent of individuals with rheumatic conditions, such as joint diseases, osteoarthritis and myalgia, had low levels of vitamin D.
Following that information, Italian researchers set out to see if the nutrient could be tied to a range of diseases. They found that vitamin D deficiency was associated with decreased mobility and swollen joints.
Luca Idolazzi, who led the Italian study, said that most recommendations for intake levels of the nutrient are too low, and that more research is needed to find the optimal level.
"We have seen in studies that vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with a range of rheumatic diseases, and our results have confirmed this," he said. "What we need to see now is a range of long term studies, which examine the clinical response of patients to vitamin D supplementation."
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