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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 619381, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/619381
Review Article

Solar Radiation and Vitamin D: Mitigating Environmental Factors in Autoimmune Disease

Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Suite No. 301, 9509-156 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2M7

Received 3 July 2011; Revised 29 November 2011; Accepted 13 December 2011

Academic Editor: Robin Bernhoft

Copyright © 2012 Gerry K. Schwalfenberg. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper looks at the environmental role of vitamin D and solar radiation as risk reduction factors in autoimmune disease. Five diseases are considered: multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease of the thyroid, and inflammatory bowel disease. Clinical relevant studies and factors that may indicate evidence that autoimmune disease is a vitamin D-sensitive disease are presented. Studies that have resulted in prevention or amelioration of some autoimmune disease are discussed. An example of the utility of supplementing vitamin D in an unusual autoimmune disease, idiopathic thrombocytic purpura, is presented.