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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
GLOBAL: Vitamin D Fights Hepatitis B Virus Infection - Study
Staff Writer
August 13, 2013
Food Consumer (07.28.2013) Aids Weekly Plus

A recent study presented evidence that higher levels of vitamin D reduced hepatitis B virus (HBV) levels. Christian M. Lange, a researcher with Germany’s Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital, and colleagues studied 203 people with chronic HBV infection. The study found that patients with elevated vitamin D serum levels consistently had lower HBV levels. The study disclosed that 34 percent of patients had "severe vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D3 <10ng/mL],” 47 percent had “vitamin D insufficiency [25(OH)D3 =10ng/mL and <20ng/mL],” and 19 percent of the patients had “adequate vitamin D serum levels [25(OH)D3 =20ng/mL].” The study likewise found "hepatitis B early antigen (HBeAg) positive patients had lower 25(OH)D3 serum levels than HBeAg negative patients." Researchers also noted that during seasons when patients had less exposure to sunshine, the body produced lower vitamin D levels, which increased HBV levels. Investigators determined that HBV-infected people should maintain adequate levels of vitamin D. According to the report, earlier studies found that levels of vitamin D serum were not associated with the hepatitis C virus load. The full report, “Low Vitamin D Serum Concentration is Associated with High Levels of Hepatitis B Virus Replication in Chronically Infected Patients,” was published in the journal Hepatology (2013; doi: 10.1002/hep.26488).