Below are some great articles on the numerous effects that Vitamin D3 is believe to have on the body:
- Back to the future: a new look at ‘old’ vitamin D
- The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?
- The vitamin D deficiency pandemic and consequences for nonskeletal health: Mechanisms of action
- Scotland's Health Deficit: An explanation and a plan
- Scientific American: Cell Defenses and the Sunshine Vitamin
By the way, although I believe the above articles 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!