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:
- The Vitamin D Epidemic and its Health Consequences
- Noncalcemic Actions of Vitamin D Receptor Ligands
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:
- Exaptation of an ancient Alu short interspersed element provides a highly conserved vitamin D-mediated innate immune response in humans and primates.
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!