Vitamin D3 and its Effects on Human Diseases

Vitamin D3 and its Effects on Human Diseases

Recent studies suggest the importance of Vitamin D3 in immunity, and indeed, vitamin D3 deficiency has been linked to multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertensioni, heart diseasei, depression, diabetes, chronic pain, osteoporosis and many other illnesses:

 

A recent study suggests the genetic importance that Vit D3 plays in the role of human and other primate immunity:

     Here is the full article:

 By the way, although I believe articles such as the one above make an important case for the involvement of low levels of Vitamin D3 in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis and other "autoimmune" diseases, IMHO, the expert researchers on Vitamin D3 may also be missing much of the reason for this, namely the importance of Vitamin D3 in controlling or preventing the infections that have been linked with these diseases.   These articles often mention the antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidins) that so require Vit D3 for their production, but they really only mention these cathelicidins in reference to overt infections.   These articles also often mention Vit D3's importance for normal cellular apoptosis, but again they usually only mention this in reference to cancer.   IMHO, these researchers may be missing the importance of these two (and probably other) effects of Vit D3 in in controlling infections that may cause disease.   As we are aware, Vit D3 may influence levels of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection through its effects on the ability of the Chlamydia pneumoniae to prevent apotosis (and replicate protected inside a cell) for instance.   And cathelicidins may be important in keeping the henchmen Herpes viruses dormant, where they belong. Although I have no medical background, I personally believe the pathogenesis of many of the "autoimmune" diseases that these researchers point to heavy involvement of low levels of Vit D3 in their pathogenesis may actually be far more complex than these researchers realize - namely that infections play a major role in disease pathologies and Vit D is crucial in controlling these infections.    Still, bless these researchers for the efforts!

Red Sat, 2009-02-21 15:15

Vitamin D3 and "Autoimmune" and Rheumatic Disease

Vitamin D3 and "Autoimmune" and Rheumatic Disease

Below are some articles discussing the beneficial effects of Vitamin D in "Autoimmune" and Rheumatic Disease:

 Additional articles on Vitamin D in Autoimmune Disease can be found on the Vitamin D Council page on Vitamin D and Autoimmune Illness:

 

Red Sat, 2009-02-21 15:18

Vitamin D3 and Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamin D3 and Multiple Sclerosis

 A number of articles and studies suggest that Vitamin D provides benefit in the prevention and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis:

While most studies that suggest Vit D3 is beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis are epidemiological in nature, a recent open study of 12 patients by Kimball, et al found that the number of lesions per patient (assessed with a nuclear magnetic brain scan) decreased in a high-dose Vitamin D3 treatment group from the initial mean of 1.75 to the end-of-study mean of 0.83:

Studies suggest that Vitamin D may provide benefit in Multiple Sclerosis through several different mechanisms.   First Vit D provides antimicrobial benefits, again through several mechanisms:

 Vitamin D also downregulates inflammation and many of the downstream tissue-destroying products that have been shown via studies to play such an important role in Multiple Sclerosis:

 And importantly, studies also suggest that Vitamin D plays an important role in nervous system function and repair:

  Numerous other studies on the beneficial effects of Vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis can be found on the Vitamin D Council page on Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis:

   

Red Sat, 2009-02-21 16:23

Vitamin D3 and Heart Disease

Vitamin D3 and Heart Disease

 A number of articles and studies suggest that Vitamin D provides benefit in the prevention and treatment of Heart Disease:

The following article provides an overview of some of the suspected roles that Vitamin D3 may play in Heart Disease.  They are that Vitamin D3:

  1. Is anti-inflammatory
  2. Is anti-thrombotic
  3. Reduces plaque instability through its effects on MMPs, TIMP-1 and C-reactive Protein
  4. Reduces blood pressure and plasma renin activity
  5. Regulates nitric oxide production

Below are a few supporting studies for each of the suspected roles Vitamin D3 may play in Heart Disease as discussed in the article above:

Is anti-inflammatory:

 

Is anti-thrombotic:

 Reduces plaque instability through its effects on MMPs, TIMP-1 and C-reactive Protein:

Reduces blood pressure and plasma renin activity:

Regulates nitric oxide production:

   A recent study suggests that Vit D3 may also play an important roll in preventing foam cell formation:

   An excellent, and easy to understand video on Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease can be found here:

   Additional articles on Vitamin D and Heart Disease can be found on the Vitamin D Council's Vitamin D and Heart Disease and Hypertension pages:

    

Red Sat, 2009-02-21 18:03

Vitamin D3 and Cancer

Vitamin D3 and Cancer

 Studies suggest that Vitamin D may play an important role in the prevention and potentially even treatment of many forms of cancer.   A recent four-year, randomized study at Creighton University following 1,179 healthy, postmenopausal women from rural eastern Nebraska, found that daily supplementation with only 1,100 iu of Vitamin D led to up to 77% fewer cases of all forms of Cancer:

Here's an easy to read summary article:

And the full study:

 Studies also suggest that Vitamin D levels may be an important predictor of cancer survival and even cancer relapse rates:

Here's an easy to read summary article:

And the cited summary articles:

  The slide found @ minute 26 in the following presentation by Dr David Feldman, MD at Stanford provides an excellent overview of some of the currently suspected mechanisms of anti-cancer activities of Vitamin D3. They are:

  1. Inhibits G1/G0 cell cycle arrest
  2. Stimulates apoptosis
  3. Stimulates differentiation
  4. Regulates tumor suppressors / oncogenes
  5. Regulates growth factors or receptors
  6. Is anti-angiogenic
  7. Inhibits invasion and metastasis
  8. Is anti-inflammatory

BTW, this is a great video on the importance of Vitamin D3, and it includes a very good discussion on the Vitamin D pathways in general. Towards the end (@ the 20 minute mark), it discusses Vit D3 in relation to cancer, including a nice up-to-date list of the suspected mechanisms involved as copied above.

 Below are a few supporting studies for each of the mechanisms of anti-cancer activity of Vit D3 discussed in the video above:

Inhibits G1/G0 cell cycle arrest:

 Stimulates Apoptosis:

Stimulates differentiation:

 

Regulates tumor suppressors / oncogenes:

 

Regulates growth factors or receptors:

 Is anti-angiogenic:

  Inhibits invasion and metastasis:

 

Is anti-inflammatory:

    Vitamin D3 has also been shown to have anti-cancer effects through other mechanisms: 

  1. Cancerous cells have been shown to require telomerase in order to survive (and avoid apoptosis) as the following article discusses:

"In 90 percent of cancers, no matter what caused the cancer to form, it needs telomerase activity to maintain the cell. Without telomerase, the cell will die." And Vitamin D3 has been shown to downregulate telomerase in several forms of cancer:

 

 

Here's another great video on Vitamin D3 and cancer.  Pay particular attention to the discussion on the potential involvement of Tight Junctions and Adherins in cancer development and progression starting @ minute 20:00:

  

Additional studies suggesting the role Vitamin D3 plays in cancer can be found on the Vitamin D Council page on Vitamin D and Cancer:

Red Sat, 2009-02-21 18:10

Vitamin D3 and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Vitamin D3 and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

 Studies suggest that Vitamin D and the it's downstream Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPS) products may have beneficial effects in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

Don't miss this excellent summary table in the above article:
Table 1Table 1-Antimicrobials in the gastrointestinal tract.

 And while epidemiological studies do not necessarily point to a root cause, the studies below are interesting in that they seem to find that Inflammatory Bowel Disease occurs at higher rates in northern latitudes and also increases with affluence (whereby you might assume with greater affluence, people may spend more time indoors, etc):

 Lastly, below is an article on a recent study that discusses just how complicated the whole disease process for Inflammatory Bowel Disease may really be, namely that it may take genetic susceptibility (and potentially low Vitamin D levels) and then potentially even something like a virus (in this case Norovirus) that can alter the gut microbe balance before disease occurs:

Here's a link to the actual study referenced above:

Additional articles on Vitamin D in Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be found on the Vitamin D Council page on Vitamin D and Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

Red Sun, 2011-01-09 13:04

Vitamin D3 and Mental Health

Vitamin D3 and Mental Health Red Sat, 2009-02-21 19:26

Vitamin D3 and Chronic Pain

Vitamin D3 and Chronic Pain Red Sat, 2009-02-21 15:34

Vitamin D3 and Thyroid Disease

Vitamin D3 and Thyroid Disease

 Below are articles discussing the beneficial effects of Vitamin D in Thyroid Disease:

 

Below is the full study article.  While the article focuses on Graves' hyperthyroidism, the discussion and conclusion sections list some interesting findings of recent research on Vitamin D3's importance for proper thyroid function in general.   It's well worth a read:

 

Red Sat, 2009-02-21 15:27