(HealthDay News) — For patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation is associated with improved disease activity within a short period, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

S. Chandrashekara, MD, and Anand Patted, MD, from the ChanRe Rheumatology & Immunology Center & Research in Bangalore, India, and colleagues examined the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and active rheumatoid arthritis. 

Data were collected in an open-label intervention study involving 150 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Participants with low vitamin D levels and Disease Activity Score of 28 joints/C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP) >2.6 were supplemented with vitamin D for 12 weeks.

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The researchers found that 49% of the participants had DAS28-CRP >2.6 and serum vitamin D <20 ng/mL. 

Patients received 60,000 IU/week vitamin D supplementation for 6 weeks, followed by 60,000 IU/month for a total of 3 months. At the end of 3 months, disease activity and vitamin D status were assessed for 80.8% of patients (n=59). 

There was a significant improvement in the mean DAS28-CRP of the patients, from 3.68 ± 0.93 at baseline to 3.08 ± 1.11 after supplementation (P=.002). During the same period, serum vitamin D level improved significantly (P<.001).

“Supplementation of vitamin D in [rheumatoid arthritis] patients with persisting disease activity and vitamin D deficiency contributed to significant improvement in disease activity within a short duration,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Chandrashekara S, Patted A. Role of vitamin D supplementation in improving disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis: An exploratory study. Int J Rheum Dis. 2015;doi:10.1111/1756-185X.12770.