A recent study released from the School of Medicine at Boston University revealed the benefits of Vitamin D are greater than previously thought. The study, coined PLOS ONE, demonstrated there are considerable benefits of vitamin D for healthy adults. We all are aware that when our vitamin D levels are increased our bone health benefits. However, there is much more to vitamin D than skeletal and bone health benefits. The PLOS ONE study touted the improvement by showing how increasing the vitamin D status in healthy adults leads to a significant genetic impact. These genes were involved with several biologic pathways that are associated with infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Studies previously completed revealed that patients with deficiencies in vitamin D had a greater risk of carrying genetic diseases. This study further establishes this link by offering scientific evidence that improving one’s vitamin D levels truly does lower the risk for several diseases.
The PLOS ONE study was a double-blind, randomized trial that involved eight men and women who were healthy, and at a median age of 27. All eight participants were either deficient in vitamin D or had insufficient levels at the start of the trial. Three of the participants were dosed with 400 International Units of vitamin D daily and five participants were dosed with 2,000 IUs daily. The daily doses were administered over a period of two months. The patients had samples of their white blood cells collected at the beginning of the study, and again at the culmination of the two month study. The analysis of the gene expression was vast and involved over 22,500 genes that were investigated.
Results were statistically significant, showing that vitamin D greatly altered activity in 291 genes. These 291 genes were shown to be related to 160 biologic pathways, which were linked to autoimmune diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease. Michael F. Holick, author of this relevant study and leading vitamin D expert stated, “While a larger study is necessary to confirm our observations, the data demonstrates that improving vitamin D status can have a dramatic effect on gene expression in our immune cells and may help explain the role of vitamin D in reducing the risk for CVD, cancer and other diseases.” This news is encouraging and enlightening for research and development for future vitamin D APIs.
As a fat-soluble vitamin that is produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight are exposed to the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis, vitamin D promotes calcium absorption. Whether vitamin D is obtained from either sunlight, food or supplements, it is biologically inert. Two hydroxylations are needed in the body for the effectual activation of vitamin D. The first hydroxylation happens in the liver which converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D, known as Calcifediol, CAS# 19356-17-3. The second hydroxylation occurs mainly in the kidneys and forms the physiologically active 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D, known as Calcitriol, CAS# 32222-06-3. Calcitriol is a calcium regulator which increases blood calcium levels by promoting the absorption of dietary calcium from the gastrointestinal tract. Calcitriol additionally aids the body in increasing the reabsorption of calcium, therefore reducing the loss of calcium in the urine. Bone cells referred to as osteoclasts are stimulated via this release of calcium from the bone when patients take calcitriol, and the intestinal absorption of both calcium and phosphorus is increased as well. The small, but possible side effect of calcitriol is hypercalcemia. Providers should be aware of potential presentation of symptoms from patients, such as nausea, vomiting, anorexia, headache, sweating, and polyuria. Known as the injectable drug Calcijex, marketed by Abbott Laboratories, calcitriol is earmarked for use in the management of hypocalcemia in patients undergoing chronic renal dialysis.
There are other vitamin D analogues, as well as calcitriol that LGM Pharma provides for research and development purposes. Clients can be assured of quality API products and continuous support throughout the R&D process.
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