Are there any common nutritional deficiencies associated with osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout? — AMY GALENA, MSH, RD, LD/N, Neptune Beach, Fla.

An extensive review of the literature reveals no common nutritional deficiencies associated with these conditions. However, several studies that indicate vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <30mg/mL) is common in patients with OA and RA.

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone with important skeletal and nonskeletal biologic functions, and supplementation in those with a deficiency may augment skeletal health. There are also reports of an association between low plasma levels of vitamin K and the increased prevalence of OA manifestations in the hand and knee (Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54:1255-1261). Another study supports the hypothesis that insufficient vitamin K intake is a risk factor for knee OA ( J Orthop Sci. 2009;14:687-692). — Eileen F. Campbell, MSN, CRNP, Associate Program Director, Family Health Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia (152-03)