Physiology And Metabolism Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D has long been known to be an essential nutrient for the human body, particularly with regard to the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphate . Technically, vitamin D is not a true vitamin it belongs to the family of steroid hormones. Its nuclear hormone receptor, vitamin D receptor , is expressed in at least seventeen tissues or cells .
Vitamin D has 2 major forms, cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol . Both forms of vitamin D can be found in foods or supplements however, only vitamin D3 is produced in skin , and it is the only naturally occurring form of vitamin D in humans and other animals . Human vitamin D endocrine system includes 3 forms of vitamin D , namely vitamin D3, calcidiol D3), and calcitriol 2D3). Vitamin D3 is the naturally occurring form of vitamin D, derived from either dietary sources or formed from 7-dehydrocholesterol by the skin. 25D3 is a prehormone in the blood that is made directly from vitamin D3, and it is also what is directly tested to measure vitamin D3 in the blood D levels usually contain both the vitamin D2 and D3 forms). 25D3 is an active form of vitamin D3. 1,252D3, which is made from 25D3, is the hormone form of vitamin D3 and the most biologically active metabolite of vitamin D3.
Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation
The Linus Pauling Institute recommends that generally healthy adults take 2,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily. Most multivitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D, and single-ingredient vitamin D supplements are available for additional supplementation. Sun exposure, diet, skin color, and body mass index have variable, substantial impact on body vitamin D levels. To adjust for individual differences and ensure adequate body vitamin D status, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends aiming for a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of at least 30 ng/mL . Observational studies suggest that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations between 30 ng/mL and 60 ng/mL are associated with lower risks of adverse health outcomes, including cancers and autoimmune diseases.
The American Academy of Pediatrics currently suggests that all infants, children, and adolescents receive 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily . Consistent with the recommendations of the Endocrine Society , the Linus Pauling Institute recommends daily intakes of 400 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D in infants and 600 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D in children and adolescents. Given the average vitamin D content of breast milk, infant formula, and the diets of children and adolescents, supplementation may be necessary to meet these recommendations.
Vitamin D Improves Allergy Symptoms And Results In Weight Loss
Vitamin D has many health benefits it has the ability to fight off infections, curb inflammation and provide relief to allergy sufferers. With that, vitamin D could be considered a super-nutrient, especially since researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have found an additional health benefit: weight loss.
The team at Allergy & Environmental Center, LLC believes strongly in investigating the health of every patient before suggesting a treatment plan. Therefore, you should consult a professional at The Allergy & Environmental Center, LLC prior to introducing nutritional supplements like vitamin D into your allergy-treatment routine.
A double-blinded trial conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle included 218 overweight and/or obese postmenopausal women who had low serum vitamin D levels . Women were assigned to a twelve-month reduced calorie diet, 225-minute per week exercise program, and either a daily placebo or 2,000 international units of vitamin D3. Body measurements and serum levels were taken before, during and after the study.
The results indicated women who had higher levels of vitamin D saw a significant decrease in inflammation. Additionally, women with higher levels of this vitamin lost about 8.5 kilograms .
Vitamin D helps fight off dangerous H. pylori bacteria and reduces inflammation associated with hives.
@The Allergy & Environmental Treatment Center, LLC, 2014
@Medical Marketing Solutions, 2014
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Taking Vitamin D For Allergies How It Helps
There are vitamin D receptors in nearly all the cells that make up the immune system. For your immune system to work properly vitamin D is critical.
With vitamin D you are not boosting your immune system but helping to regulate it and work as it should. It becomes more efficient and better able to recognize what is actually a threat and what is harmless and getting relief from allergy symptoms.
With high enough vitamin D levels inflammation is decreased. The best results were at 50ng/ml and above.
Taking vitamin D could help prevent asthma flair-ups.
There are several studies that show people with low vitamin D levels have improvements when given a supplement. If you have any reason to believe you have low levels of vitamin D or have a lab test show low results a supplement may be helpful.
Is Vitamin C Safe
Vitamin C is considered safe, even if you take it in high doses.
But it could lead to side effects like diarrhea, cramping, and nausea if you take excessively high doses . Thats simply because your bod cant absorb all that vitamin C!
Where does the extra vitamin C go? It leaves your body through your urine. But for some folks that are more susceptible to certain types of kidney stones, high doses of vitamin C could increase their risk of developing kidney stones.
Peeps with certain medical conditions and folks undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment should check with their doctor before taking vitamin C supplements.
What Are The Side Effects Of Vitamin D3
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking cholecalciferol and call your doctor at once if you have:
- chest pain, feeling short of breath
- growth problems or
- early signs of vitamin D overdose–weakness, metallic taste in your mouth, weight loss, muscle or bone pain, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use cholecalciferol if you have had an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have:
high levels of vitamin D in your body
high levels of calcium in your blood or
any condition that makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food .
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
kidney disease or
an electrolyte imbalance.
Certain forms of cholecalciferol may contain ingredients you should know about, such as peanut or soybean oil, sugar, aspartame , or certain food dyes. Ask a doctor before using cholecalciferol if you have allergies, diabetes, or phenylketonuria .
Too much vitamin D could harm an unborn baby or a nursing baby. Ask a doctor before using cholecalciferol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing.
Do not give cholecalciferol to a child without medical advice. Your child’s dose will depend on age, weight, diet, and other factors.
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After Pregnancy And During Early Life
Potential effects of vitamin D in asthma and allergy development or modification Several studies support the modification role of vitamin D in asthma and allergy. However, preventive effects of vitamin D in risk reduction of asthma and allergy development during pregnancy and early life requires more well designed longitudinal studies.
II. Atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and food allergy
Several clinical, genetic and experimental studies suggest that prior history of atopic dermatitis and its severity are a major risk factors for the development of allergic rhinitis, asthma and specific sensitization, highlighting the importance of the epidermal barrier in the pathogenesis of these allergic disorders . Low levels of vitamin D appear to be inversely correlated with AD severity, and vitamin D deficiency at birth is associated with higher risk of developing AD. Also, a pilot randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation in children demonstrated a favorable effect on AD symptoms during winter months . It is possible that this effect was mediated by the induction of endogenous antimicrobial peptides in the skin in AD by oral vitamin D supplementation .
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need
It is not known exactly how much vitamin D is needed for good immune function, but most people in developed countries get enough vitamin D for healthy bones.
While there is still debate among experts on what a deficient vitamin D level is, after a review of research on vitamin D, the Institute of Medicine reported that the vast majority of people have sufficient vitamin D levels when the 25D level is greater than or equal to 20 ng/mL. The people most at risk for vitamin D deficiency are those with a level less than 12 ng/mL.
Supplementing with vitamin D, though, overall is complex, as a person’s individual level, and how much they may require daily to maintain a normal vitamin D level depends on a number of factors. These factors include:
- Whether a person has any medical problems .
In addition, it is possible to overdose on vitamin D, with the main side effect being high circulating blood calcium , which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and muscle weakness, and increase the risk of developing calcium kidney stones. Therefore, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider before taking any vitamin D supplements.
Also, while tanning beds and excessive sun exposure are not recommended for obtaining adequate vitamin D due to the risk of skin cancer, some experts suggest that small amounts of sun exposure such as 5 to 30 minutes daily or twice a week may be fine. That said, its best to proceed with caution and try to limit sun exposure to the skin whenever possible.
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Vitamin D In Pregnancy And Fetal Development
The Barker hypothesis first posited that environmental influences early in development and during intrauterine life, could increase the risk of chronic disease later in life . Numerous epidemiological studies have shown strong associations between maternal diet and altered risk of chronic disease, particularly asthma . Active vitamin D dramatically rises during pregnancy, with levels reaching up to 124% to 135% of normal values . As a result, the role of vitamin D during pregnancy has recently come to the forefront as studies have documented an increased risk to maternal and fetal health in relation to low serum levels of 25OHD .
In addition to the well-described skeletal effects of vitamin D, such as calcium homeostasis and bone development, it may promote proper fetal implantation and regulates placental development . Moreover, vitamin D regulates immune responsiveness by enhancing the activity of immunosuppressive Tregs and suppresses pro-inflammatory Interleukin-17 expressing Th17 cells . In addition, vitamin D is well known for its role in regulating the expression of the neutrophil associated calethicidin antimicrobial protein as well as numerous defensins molecules, particularly beta defensin 1 . Collectively, these findings suggest that vitamin D has immunosuppressive effects in placental tissue and promotes enhanced protection of the mother and fetus against infection.
Reactions From Drug Interactions
You might also react poorly to vitamin D-3 if you’re also taking certain medications. Vitamin D in your body might increase the effectiveness of doxorubicin, an anti-cancer medication. While this might have some benefits, increasing the drug’s effectiveness might also put you at risk of greater side effects — the University of Maryland Medical Center cautions that more research is needed to understand the effects of the interaction. Taking vitamin D-3 along with digoxin, a heart medication, might also cause harmful reactions, notes the medical center. Other medications — including hormone therapy, tuberculosis medication and diuretics — naturally increase your body’s vitamin D levels, so taking them in combination with vitamin D-3 might increase your risk of a vitamin toxicity.
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How To Take Vitamin D3
Use Vitamin D3 ) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all the guides or instruction sheets. Use only the recommended dose of cholecalciferol.
It may be best to take cholecalciferol after a meal, but you may take it with or without food.
Measure liquid cholecalciferol carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
To take a disintegrating tablet, place it on your tongue and do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
The cholecalciferol wafer is usually taken only once per week or once per month. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully. The wafer must be chewed before you swallow it.
While using cholecalciferol, you will need frequent blood tests. You may also need x-rays.
Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with cholecalciferol.
Cholecalciferol may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes dietary changes and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and heat.
Why Does Vitamin D Deficiency Exist
Many studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency is extremely common, not necessarily to the degree that bone health is affected , but to the extent that the immune system is affected.
The reasons for widespread vitamin D deficiencies in various populations are not completely understood. Many researchers attribute vitamin D deficiency to modern lifestyles that include more time spent indoors with less sunlight exposure, as well as the widespread use of sunscreen . Remember, vitamin D is made in the skin with sunlight exposureso sunscreen and an indoor lifestyle will prevent vitamin D synthesis.
Diet may be another explanation for the deficiency. Vitamin D is an important nutrient but is found naturally in only a few foods . That being said, many foods are fortified with vitamin D, including breakfast cereals, milk, and other dairy products. Still, even with fortification, many people still do not get enough vitamin D.
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Vitamin D And Hayfever
Vitamin D may be best known for the role it plays in helping to build and maintain healthy bones, but since the coronavirus pandemic began, many of us have been wondering which nutrients can support the immune system â and vitamin D happens to be one such nutrient. While the current evidence doesnât support claims that any particular vitamin can help prevent, treat, or cure Coronavirus, vitamin D plays an important role in how your immune system functions.
In addition, studies suggest that vitamin D may play an important role in the prevention of various allergic diseases . According to Allergy UK, seasonal allergic rhinitis affects 1 in 5 people in the UK and can flare up at certain times of the year depending on which pollen the person is allergic to . Most people with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen, and peak times are May to July.
Allergies of nearly all types, including eczema, asthma, food allergies have become a lot more common over the past few years, which could partially be explained by the hygiene hypothesis, but many experts believe it is related to a Vitamin D deficiency .
A study carried out in Orlando, Florida, showed a positive correlation between Vitamin D and hayfever. The 35 participants , received either vitamin D or placebo for two weeks. The group getting vitamin D experienced fewer daytime problems with sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny noses .
Hypothesis On Pathogenic Mechanisms
The cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of food allergy are very complex and encompass genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors . Several mechanisms have been proposed aimed at clarifying the role played by VDD in the food allergy pathogenesis. VDD, at a particular time of life, might increase the susceptibility to colonization by abnormal intestinal microbial flora, contributing to increased intestinal permeability, leading to an inappropriate and excessive exposure of the immune system to food allergens. On the other hand, VDD might cause a disequilibrium at the intestinal level that damages immune tolerance, destroys the normal epithelial barrier, and increases the susceptibility to infections . Food allergen sensitization can also be driven by percutaneous sensitization, which may be important particularly in children with VDD . It can be speculated that decreased antimicrobial factor and non-effective tight junctions caused by VDD may determine, in the skin, an anomalous exposition and thereby a boost of the immune system, driving to allergic sensitization eczema and the onset of food allergy , in addition to an important increase in the severity of atopic dermatitis .
Table 1. Summary of studies on the possible role of vitamin D in the development of food allergy.
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What Should My Vitamin D Levels Be
The best way to know if you are getting the right amount is to get tested. Make sure to ask for the results if you get tested. Lab tests usually consider anything over 25ng/ml to be normal, but optimal is above 50ng/ml. Depending on where you live it may take closer to 1,000IU to 4,000IU daily to get you to a good level of vitamin D.
Above 50ng/ml is what is shown to improve inflammation the most. There is also anecdotal evidence of people stating improved health problems once their vitamin D reached this level. Having decreased inflammation may be what helps or there could be other health benefits happening too.