Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in women and in the presence of necroinflammation — evidence of cell death.
Higher CYP27A1 levels, but not CYP2R1, were associated with higher levels of vitamin D, while lower levels of CYP27A1 were related to greater necroinflammation.
Low vitamin D levels, low cholesterol levels, older age, high ferritin (iron-containing protein), and necroinflammation were all independent predictors of severe fibrosis, which can lead to cirrhosis.
Hepatic steatosis (fatty tissue changes) and lower levels of vitamin D and cholesterol predicted that patients would not achieve a sustained response.
The bottom line?
After sifting through all the details, the authors concluded that low vitamin D is linked to severe fibrosis and low sustained response to interferon-based therapy.
An earlier laboratory study reported that “vitamin D(2) possessed anti-hepatitis C virus activity in a cell culture system.” Those authors concluded that vitamin D should be considered to enhance the effects of interferon therapy. And this latest study supports that conclusion.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.