(HealthDay News) — There is a significant association between low vitamin D status and markers of inflammation (including the ratio of interleukin-6 [IL-6] to interleukin-10 [IL-10]) in elderly adults, according to a study published online February 25 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Eamon Laird, PhD, from Trinity College in Dublin, and colleagues analyzed data from 957 Irish adults (aged >60 years) participating in the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture aging cohort study.

The researchers found that concentrations of IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) and the ratio of IL6:IL-10 and CRP:IL-10 were significantly higher in individuals with deficient (<25 nmol/L) serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, compared to those with sufficient (>75 nmol/L) status (P<0.05). These results included adjustments for age, sex and BMI. The IL-6:IL-10 cytokine ratio was significantly predicted by vitamin D status, and those participants defined as deficient were significantly more likely than those defined as sufficient to have an IL-6:IL-10 ratio >2:1.

“These findings suggest that an adequate vitamin D status may be required for optimal immune function, particularly within the older adult population,” the authors write.

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