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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0125223302.htmVitamin D Deficiency Study Raises New Questions About Disease And Supplements
ScienceDaily (Jan. 27, 2008) ? Low blood levels of vitamin D have long been associated with disease, and the assumption has been that vitamin D supplements may protect against disease. However, this new research demonstrates that ingested vitamin D is immunosuppressive and that low blood levels of vitamin D may be actually a result of the disease process. Supplementation may make the disease worse.
In a new report Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., professor at Australia?s Murdoch University School of Biological Medicine and Biotechnology, explains how increased vitamin D intake affects much more than just nutrition or bone health. The paper explains how the Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor (VDR) acts in the repression or transcription of hundreds of genes, including genes associated with diseases ranging from cancers to multiple sclerosis.
"The VDR is at the heart of innate immunity, being responsible for expression of most of the antimicrobial peptides, which are the body?s ultimate response to infection," Marshall said.
"Molecular biology is now forcing us to re-think the idea that a low measured value of vitamin D means we simply must add more to our diet. Supplemental vitamin D has been used for decades, and yet the epidemics of chronic disease, such as heart disease and obesity, are just getting worse."
"Our disease model has shown us why low levels of vitamin D are observed in association with major and chronic illness," Marshall added. "Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone, and the body regulates the production of all it needs. In fact, the use of supplements can be harmful, because they suppress the immune system so that the body cannot fight disease and infection effectively."
Marshall's research has demonstrated how ingested vitamin D can actually block VDR activation, the opposite effect to that of Sunshine. Instead of a positive effect on gene expression, Marshall reported that his own work, as well as the work of others, shows that quite nominal doses of ingested vitamin D can suppress the proper operation of the immune system. It is a different metabolite, a secosteroid hormone called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which activates the VDR to regulate the expression of the genes. Under conditions that exist in infection or inflammation, the body automatically regulates its production of all the vitamin D metabolites, including 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the metabolite which is usually measured to indicate vitamin D status.
Vitamin D deficiency, long interpreted as a cause of disease, is more likely the result of the disease process, and increasing intake of vitamin D often makes the disease worse. "Dysregulation of vitamin D has been observed in many chronic diseases, including many thought to be autoimmune," said J.C. Waterhouse, Ph.D., lead author of a book chapter on vitamin D and chronic disease.
"We have found that vitamin D supplementation, even at levels many consider desirable, interferes with recovery in these patients."
"We need to discard the notion that vitamin D affects a disease state in a simple way," Marshall said. "Vitamin D affects the expression of over 1,000 genes, so we should not expect a simplistic cause and effect between vitamin D supplementation and disease. The comprehensive studies are just not showing that supplementary vitamin D makes people healthier."
Journal reference: Marshall TG. Vitamin D discovery outpaces FDA decision making. Bioessays. 2008 Jan 15;30(2):173-182 [Epub ahead of print] Online ISSN: 1521-1878 Print ISSN: 0265-9247 PMID: 18200565
http://spas.suite101.com/article.cfm..._d_supplementsA new study published in Science Daily (Jan 27, 2008) suggests that vitamin D supplements may suppress the immune system and worsen certain conditions. The researchers acknowledge that vitamin D from sunlight is important for health. In the past years several studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies contribute to many diseases, including a number of autoimmune diseases.
Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency
Today, many doctors order blood tests for 25-hydroxy vitamin D. Results show that vitamin D deficiency is common in people of all ages. In another report published in Science Daily in July, 2007, researchers reported that many otherwise healthy children and adolescents have low vitamin D levels. The article reports that vitamin D deficiency puts children at risk for bone diseases such as rickets.
In adults, vitamin D deficiency contributes to bone loss, causing conditions of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency is also widely seen in patients with multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D deficiency is considered an environmental risk factor for autoimmune disease.
Problems with Supplements
Trevor Marshall, Ph.D. a professor at Australia?s Murdoch School of Biological Medicine and Biotechnology explains that increased ingestion of vitamin D affects more than bone health. The Vitamin D receptor, a protein on cells that reacts with vitamin D molecules is involved in the repression or transcription of hundreds of genes associated with diseases ranging from cancers to multiple sclerosis. The Vitamin D receptor also regulates innate immunity particularly the body?s natural antimicrobial peptides.
By persistently activating the Vitamin D receptor with vitamin D3 supplements, other natural proteins are prevented from reacting with the vitamin D receptor. This ultimately suppresses the immune system.
Natural Vitamin D
Normally, the body receives adequate vitamin D from 10-15 minutes of daily exposure to the sun. The skin absorbs vitamin D, which it stores and utilizes as needed. Supplements, by binding to the Vitamin D receptor, block natural vitamin D hormone. Marshall?s study, which has been confirmed by other researchers, shows that even normal doses of vitamin D supplements can suppress the proper operation of the immune system and interfere with the regulation of gene expression for more than 1,000 genes.
In addition, Marshall writes that vitamin D deficiency may be a sign of disease rather than a cause of disease.
Vitamin D Deficiency Study Raises New Questions about Disease and Supplements, written in collaboration with the Autoimmunity Research Foundation, Science Daily, Jan 27, 2008
Low Vitamin D Levels May be Common in Otherwise Healthy Children, Science Daily, July 10, 2007.