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Vitamin D Deficiency in Cystic Fibrosis Patients

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New research is showing that that Vitamin D deficiency may be a component of the lung inflammation that is seen in cystic fibrosis. Vitamin D has also been linked to the immune system and inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency is now found in many Americans who are healthy and individuals with cystic fibrosis are at an even higher risk.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Posted on April 16, 2011 by foundationcare

In today’s society, vitamin D deficiency is becoming a very important topic. Deficiency is now found in many Americans who are healthy and individuals with cystic fibrosis are at an even higher risk.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves in and is stored in the body the same way as fat. Vitamin D can be found in certain foods, such as fish (oils and eggs, particularly) and dairy products. Because cystic fibrosis has a malabsorption component, it creates problems in the body when breaking down these foods to absorb the vitamin D.

Sunlight offers another avenue for our bodies to obtain vitamin D. It is advised that in order to receive vitamin D through sunlight, healthy individuals should have their hands, arms, or legs exposed to the sun until there is a mild pinkness on the skin, 2-3 times per week. Because many medications cause light sensitivity and patients are recommended to avoid sun exposure, it can be difficult to obtain vitamin D through this method. In the winter, we typically use vitamin D that has been stored in our fat. Because of the malabsorption due to cystic fibrosis, patients have a more difficult time preventing deficiency in the winter.

Our bodies use vitamin D for a variety of things, but the most well known use is for the balance of two chemicals in our bodies: calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D helps these two chemicals enter our bloodstream so that our bodies can use them to maintain strong, healthy bones. Sometimes, if the deficiency is severe enough, bone softening disease may occur, such as osteomalacia or rickets.

Vitamin D has also been linked, in research, to our immune system and inflammation. It has been hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency may be a component of the lung inflammation that is seen in cystic fibrosis.

It is important to be sure to have enough vitamin D in your daily diet. You can achieve this through dietary sources such as vitamin D supplements, fish oil, dairy, and also through adequate sunlight.

If you think that you or your child may be vitamin D deficient, be sure to contact your physician or a Foundation Care pharmacist.

References:

  • William B. Hall, Amy A. Sparks, and Robert M. Aris. Vitamin D Deficiency in Cystic Fibrosis. International Journal of Endocrinology, Volume 2010. October 23, 2009.
  • The Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Vitamin D. Mayo Clinic, Natural Standard Patient Monograph. April 1, 2011.
  • Christopher R. Gilbert DO, Seth M. Arum MD, and Cecilia M. Smith DO. Vitamin D deficiency and chronic lung disease. Can Respir J 2009; 16(3): 75-80.

Special thanks to our PharmD candidate, Francesca Farenhorst.

Source: http://blog.foundcare.com/2011/04/16/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-cystic-fibrosis-patients/

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