Got Inflammation? Study Says You May Need More Vitamin D
Thousands of studies have demonstrated the powerful health-promoting properties of vitamin D. And now, researchers publishing in the Journal of Immunology explain the specific molecular and signaling events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation in the human body.
In a very detailed analysis, scientists show that low blood circulating levels of vitamin D do not adequately inhibit the inflammatory cascade necessary to turn off this potentially destructive mechanism.
Low levels of inflammation, normally used by the body to fight pathogenic invaders, become a primary cause of heart disease, diabetes, many cancer lines and Alzheimer’s when left unchecked . Additional evidence reported in the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrates that adequate vitamin D levels reduce critical markers of cardiovascular health and can lead to significant reductions in body fat in overweight and obese people. It is critical to have your vitamin D level checked, and supplement as necessary to lower inflammation levels and risk of heart disease.
Vitamin D Lowers Inflammation to Prevent Chronic Disease and Stimulate Immune Response Systems
Dr. Elena Goleva, lead scientist from National Jewish Health, found that prior studies with vitamin D show a clear and positive link between blood levels of the prohormone and a variety of different health outcomes. Dr. Goleva and her team looked for specific mechanisms to explain precisely how vitamin D functions at the cellular level to prevent disease in the human body.
Dr. Goleva and her team of researchers noted that vitamin D is a catalyst that initiates “a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation.” To test how vitamin D acts on immune and inflammatory pathways, team scientists exposed human white blood cells to varying levels of vitamin D and exposed them to an agent known to promote intense inflammatory responses and advance disease processes.
White blood cells that were incubated with no vitamin D or a solution of 15 ng/mL produced very high levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha. In vivo, these signaling messengers are known to be responsible for the development and progression of cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer and dementia. Cells incubated at a concentration of 30 ng/mL and above showed a significantly reduced response, while the highest level of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml.
Vitamin D Improves Blood Lipid Markers to Boost Cardiovascular Health and Aid Weight Loss
Supporting evidence for the health-promoting effect of vitamin D as reported in the journal BMJ shows marked improvement in cardiovascular biomarkers including HDL cholesterol. Additionally, researchers found the hormone-like substance lowered the risk of lipid peroxidation, the process responsible for making LDL cholesterol molecules sticky and prone to form atherosclerotic plaque. They also determined that high circulating levels of vitamin D were associated with “significant reductions in fat mass” in overweight and obese people.
There should be no doubt that the millions of people living with grossly sub-optimal vitamin D levels are dramatically increasing their risk of developing a plethora of potentially deadly illnesses. Health-minded individuals will ensure they maintain a circulating blood level of 50 to 70 ng/mL by means of a 25(OH)D blood test to regulate systemic inflammation and fight chronic disease.
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John Phillip is a diet, health and nutrition researcher and writer with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.
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Article updated on: April 2nd, 2012