September 15, 2015 • By
The controversy over vitamin D is hearty enough to confuse even seasoned rheumatologists, says Nathan Wei, MD, The Arthritis Treatment Center, Frederick, Md.
Vitamin D appears to be in the same conundrum right now in rheumatology. Although there’s the general thought that optimal levels can be beneficial for patients, it’s not always clear how much is needed, how much vitamin D contributes to disease development, and whether D has any protective factor against rheumatic disease.
What’s certain is testing -keep reading- for vitamin D levels is popular right now, says Stuart D. Kaplan, MD, chief of rheumatology atSouth Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y. When he started to practice rheumatology in 1989, he says checking vitamin D levels was not even on the radar screen.
As the specialty’s knowledge of rheumatic disease has increased, there’s a general thought that vitamin D may help combat osteoporosis and reduce the risk for falls, says Linda A. Russell, MD, assistant attending physician, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York.
The current enthusiasm for Vitamin D stems, in part, from the public’s interest in finding more “natural” ways to prevent and treat disease that do not involve conventional medications, says Sharon L. Kolasinski, MD, Division of Rheumatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
What We Know about Vitamin D
There’s a multitude of ongoing research related to vitamin D right now, and while some questions remain unanswered, what’s clear