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ASSOCIATION BETWEEN VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Vitamin D is a secosteroid rather than a vitamin. Vitamin D plays a role in the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] are frequently noted in patients with autoimmune diseases, leading to a current consensus that a deficiency of the secosteroid may contribute to the autoimmune disease process. Low levels of vitamin D in patients with autoimmune disease may be a result rather than a cause of disease. The discovery of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in the cells of the immune system and the fact that several of these cells produce the vitamin D hormone suggested that it could have immunoregulatory properties. Vitamin D has multiple immunosuppressant properties. Definitive mechanisms by which vitamin D protects against autoimmune disease have yet to be identified. This review describes the importance of vitamin D deficiency in autoimmune diseases.
Keywords: vitamin D, deficiency, pathophysiology, autoimmune diseases