The link of low vitamin D levels and Epstein Barr Virus in causing lupus:

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There is a well thought out theory linking low vitamin D levels with Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infections and its ability to cause SLE. Low vitamin D levels has been linked to causing low levels of a type of white blood cell of the immune system called CD8+ T-cells. CD8+ T-cells are important for our body’s ability to fight off viral infections such as EBV. Therefore, low vitamin D levels could cause low levels of CD8+ T-cells in a person. If that person becomes infected with EBV, the infection could become more severe and infect more cells of the body, especially B-cells (the cells that are responsible for producing antibodies, to include the antinuclear antibodies found in lupus). When this occurs in a person who has genes that can cause lupus, then these infected B-cells could become more active and produce the autoantibodies (such as ANA) that end up causing lupus.

by Don Thomas, MD