The Southern Newsroom
| August 10, 2022
Genetic analysis revealed a relationship between hormone deficiency and chronic inflammation. (Photo: Reproduction)
Vitamin D deficiency has already been associated in several studies with increased risks of bone weakness and dementia. However, the impact could be much broader than imagined, and even extend to a vulnerability scenario for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and even certain forms of cancer. That’s because all of these health issues are linked to chronic inflammation in the body, and a new study, conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia, has found that a lack of the compound is directly linked. to a persistent state of inflammation.
Australian scientists have conducted a series of studies analyzing the impacts of vitamin D levels below recommendations with new genetic analysis technology. The importance of the compound is due to the fact that although called a vitamin, the substance is a hormone that works in the regulation of calcium and phosphate in the human body.
The new study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, assessed genetic information from 294,970 participants, available in the UK Biobank database. The researchers found a direct relationship between a low amount of the compound and increased levels of C-reactive protein, a substance that is released by the liver during inflammation and infection.
“Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting tissues if you have been injured or have an infection. High levels of C-reactive protein are generated by the liver in response to inflammation, so when your body undergoes chronic inflammation, it also contains higher amounts of protein,” in a statement.
Inflammation can be acute, as when the immune system is fighting off a disease, or chronic, when other factors cause the body to keep producing leukocytes and other defense cells constantly. However, when it is not necessary, since there is no danger to fight, and in the long term, this release begins to cause damage to the organism.
“This study looked at vitamin D and C-reactive protein and found a direct relationship between low vitamin levels and high protein levels, expressed as inflammation. Boosting vitamin D in people who are deficient in this compound can reduce chronic inflammation, helping to ward off a host of related diseases,” Zhou explains.
The results of the study therefore suggest that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can prevent secondary complications of obesity and reduce the risk or severity of chronic diseases with an inflammatory component, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and autoimmune diseases, according to scientists.
“We have repeatedly seen evidence of the health benefits of increasing vitamin D concentrations in subjects with very low levels. For others, with the rate already adequate, the increased levels of the compound appears to offer little or no benefit. The new findings underscore the importance of avoiding vitamin D deficiency.”
To achieve optimal levels of the compound, experts suggest daily sun exposure for 15-20 minutes, at least three times a week. According to the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology (SBEM), vitamin D can also be found in foods such as salmon, tuna and sardine oils, egg yolks, liver, milk, yogurts and cheeses. In case of deficiency, it can be replaced by capsules or tablets indicated by the doctor.
According to a study conducted by researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and the René Rachou Research Institute, Fiocruz, approximately 16% of the Brazilian population over the age of 50 have insufficient levels of the nutrient. .