Why Vitamin D Improves Your Health
Vitamin D connects to each cell in your body, improving your health by controlling the expression of hundreds of different genes in direct portion to dosage size or vitamin D status.
Vitamin D Improves Health by Controlling Gene Expression
In this study, Vitamin D-3 was shown to alter the expression of 291 different genes. It found that vitamin D affected more than 160 different biological functions linked to apoptosis (which is used by your body to kill cancer cells), immune function, epigenetic modification, stress response, cell cycle activity, cell differentiation, and other biological functions.
Further, the ability of Vitamin D to control gene expression was found to improve in direct portion to dosage size or vitamin D status. The impressive results of this study were achieved at the relatively low dosage of just 2,000 IU a day of vitamin D-3. Further, it suggests that higher doses of "D" would have resulted in even more gene expression.
"Our data suggest that any improvement in vitamin D status will improve expression of genes that have a wide variety of biologic functions that are associated with cellular proliferation, differentiation, immune function, DNA repair, etc. whether the 25(OH)D concentration is as low as 10 ng/ml or as high as 40 ng/ml [which was as high as our limited study went]."[Hossein-nezhad 2013]
Vitamin D Linked to Gene Expression
The above 50 minute long video is presented by Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD who participated on the study that he is reviewing. Dr. Holick is an excellent speaker who always successfully manages to add a bit of levity to all his PowerPoint slide shows.
Physiology of Vitamin D
Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol) must be first converted by the liver to 25-hydroxylation [i.e., 25(OH)D or what vitamin D blood tests measure].
For bone health or more precisely calcium and bone metabolism, the kidneys convert 25(OH)D into 1,25(OH)2D3. Not too long ago, it was discovered that 25(OH)D is converted locally to 1,25(OH)2D3 throughout the human body by the various organs, such as the prostate gland.
The activated 1,25(OH)2D3 form enables individual molecules to bind to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) of each cell in the human body. This in turn, enables vitamin D to perform transcriptional regulation of genes, to up and down regulate individual genes, or to turn genes on and off.
In previous human genome research, 2,776 binding sites, or 5% of the human genome, were found for the vitamin D receptor (VDR).[Ramagopalan 2010]
In conclusion, from studying the full text of this research study (referenced at the extreme bottom of this article), as well as watching the above video presentation the Natural Health Perspective can now tell the public why vitamin D makes people healthy, in general.
The health benefits of activated vitamin D go way beyond the cancer connection. This is because activated vitamin D is capable of influencing gene expression. Some genes are expressed more than others, or at a higher intensity level. Of the 291 genes noted in this particular study after supplementation; 209 genes were increased, while 89 decreased their expression.
Virtually every cell in the human body has a VDR, or vitamin D receptor, which strongly suggests that each of our cells should a have a fresh molecule of activated "D" attached to it. At the projected 10 trillion plus cells contained in the human body, everyone should do the math and calculate the amount of vitamin D needed. People are so grossly deficient in vitamin D, that flooding the body with vitamin D-3 will result in activated "D" being attached to each cell of your body for the very first time in your entire life. Now, just think of all the possible positive health implications.
Projecting to future studies on other organ systems, other than white blood cells, the number of genes that Vitamin D is capable of turning on and off could easily be in the range of 2,000 that would according effect every major life function.
Concerns over calcification toxicity are largely overblown because the kidneys will automatically stop activating excessive amounts of "D" not needed for bone metabolism. All the supplemental "D" not needed for bone metabolism ends up in the various organ systems disbursed throughout the body which are capable of activating the vitamin D for its own purposes. Since the locally activated "D" does NOT circulate in the bloodstream, Vitamin D toxicity does NOT become a concern until your blood levels approach the 200 ng/mL (500 nmol/L) plus range.
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- Influence of vitamin D status and vitamin D3 supplementation on genome wide expression of white blood cells: a randomized double-blind clinical trial.
Hossein-nezhad A, Spira A, Holick MF.
PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58725. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058725. Epub 2013 Mar 20.
- A ChIP-seq defined genome-wide map of vitamin D receptor binding: associations with disease and evolution.
Ramagopalan SV, Heger A, Berlanga AJ,...
Genome Res. 2010 Oct;20(10):1352-60. doi: 10.1101/gr.107920.110. Epub 2010 Aug 24.