Why is Vitamin D so important? - NL-004
It has been estimated that nearly half of the global population is suffering from Vitamin D insufficiency and one billion people are deficient in this nutrient. Research has shown that hypovitaminosis D, or Vitamin D deficiency, is a predictor of mortality in the general population. Conversely, supplementing with Vitamin D appears to be a protective factor against death.
The ingestion of vitamin D can boost calcium and phosphorus levels by up to 40% and 80%, respectively, but it has much more impact than just increasing mineral absorption and balance. Vitamin D can impact up to 200 gene expressions in organ systems such as muscles, intestines, pancreas, and nervous system, which underscores its powerful and far-reaching influence.
Cell division and differentiation are regulated by Vitamin D, which also induces apoptosis to avoid cancer. As an endocrine factor, it inhibits renin and encourages insulin secretion. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and immune-boosting properties to stop invading pathogens and inhibit tumour growth.
The vitamin D receptor complex has an impact on around 10% of human genes and around 3% of human genomes. Its presence has an impact on a wide range of human cells, including bone, blood vessels, brain, breast, colon, immune, muscle, prostate, and skin cells. 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1 alpha-hydroxylase, which is produced by a multitude of human cells, including bone, blood vessels, brain, breast, colon, immune, muscle, prostate, and skin, is responsible for converting calcifediol into calcitriol, the metabolically active form of vitamin D that has an influence on a cellular level.
Adequate amounts of vitamin D depend on getting enough ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation. When using a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, which is often suggested by the medical community, it can reduce the production of vitamin D by more than 95%. The process of synthesizing vitamin D starts when cholesterol in the skin is transformed into cholecalciferol due to sun exposure. This inactive form then goes through changes in the liver and kidneys to form the metabolically active version of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 - 1,25(OH)2D3 - which is the most commonly found form of vitamin D in the body.
Practices of many traditional cultures, which revere the sun as the source of life, may be the result of the numerous advantages of adequate vitamin D. In contrast, popular media, conventional medicine, and the common attitude today is to shelter from the sun, apply sunscreen, and stay away from the direct sunlight in the middle of the day.
A 15-year prospective study of 38,000 Swedish women found that prolonged sun exposure had a significant impact on reducing overall mortality and cardiovascular mortality. Surprisingly, there was a 60% higher risk of melanoma associated with intermittent sun exposure, yet chronic sun exposure had a protective effect against this deadly form of skin cancer. It is important to note that burning should always be avoided, yet staying away from the sun altogether is also harmful.
A broad range of diseases and illnesses have been associated with a lack of vitamin D; including hypertension, infections, diabetes, depression, cancer, fractures, and falls. Notably, vitamin D - a substance necessary for proper immune function - has been found to be in short supply in those suffering from autoimmune diseases, like MS, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune thyroiditis. Furthermore, research has revealed that autoimmune disorders tend to be more common in areas further from the equator, where vitamin D levels are lower.
The process of self-tolerance, or the lack of an immune response against self-antigens present in the body, is regulated by Vitamin D. It also has an influence on both innate and adaptive immune responses in the event of an infection. Homeostasis, proliferation, and apoptosis are all related to Vitamin D and its effects on the immune system.
Vitamin D - the connection with Vitiligo and Psoriasis
Vitiligo is a condition that has an effect on 1% of the global population, usually before the age of 20. It is split into two varieties, the most common being generalized vitiligo which is thought to be an autoimmune disorder targeting the pigment cells called melanocytes. The other, less common type is segmental vitiligo, which affects only one side of the body.
In contrast to other skin conditions, Psoriasis is a widespread inflammatory illness that affects around two to four percent of the global population. The cause of the disorder is still being discussed, with some suggesting it is an autoimmune issue, and others claiming it is an irregular reaction to the bacteria on the skin. Many people who suffer from Psoriasis state that the condition has a major influence on their life, even if the visible signs of the disorder aren't extensive. Around 20 percent of those with Psoriasis are not satisfied with the treatment they receive.
To keep your immune system in check and stave off potential pathogens, incorporating Vitamin D into your daily routine is key. In particular, taking a liposomal form of Vitamin D will promote the production of anti-microbial peptides like beta defensins and cathelicidin, which can rebalance your microflora composition and help guard against autoimmune responses. The seasonality of influenza is believed to be in part due to Vitamin D deficiency in the winter months, so it is important to be proactive and stay on top of your health throughout the year!