D3

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This Vitamin D3 supplement is one of the most useful nutritional tools we have at our disposal for improving overall health. This vitamin is unique because cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is a vitamin derived from 7-dehyrocholesterol; however, Vitamin D3 acquires hormone-like actions when cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is converted to 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D3 (Calcitriol) by the liver and kidneys. As a hormone, Calcitriol controls phosphorus, calcium, and bone metabolism and neuromuscular function.
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Dr. Dale’s Vitamin D3

This Vitamin D3 supplement comes in two forms: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D3 is structurally similar to steroids such as testosterone, cholesterol, and cortisol (though vitamin D3 itself is a secosteroid).

Vitamin D3 is one of the most useful nutritional tools we have at our disposal for improving overall health. This vitamin is unique because cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is a vitamin derived from 7-dehyrocholesterol; however, Vitamin D3 acquires hormone-like actions when cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is converted to 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D3 (Calcitriol) by the liver and kidneys. As a hormone, Calcitriol controls phosphorus, calcium, and bone metabolism and neuromuscular function.

Vitamin D3 is the only vitamin the body can manufacture from sunlight (UVB). We just don’t get outdoors enough today due to our adaption to indoor living. We also use extensive amounts of sunscreens due to concern about skin cancer, therefore, we are now a society with millions of individuals deficient in life-sustaining bone building and immune modulating 1,25-dihydroxy Vitamin D3.

Without vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, soft, or misshapen. Vitamin D prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, which are skeletal diseases that result in defects that weaken bones.

Vitamin D is an important immune system regulator. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], has been shown to inhibit the development of autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Recent studies have shown that vitamin D3 is a more potent form of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind with protein poorly, making it less effective. One unit of cod liver oil (containing vitamin D3) has been shown to be as effective as four units of Viosterol (a medicinal preparation of vitamin D2). However, the form of vitamin D used in prescriptions in North America is almost invariably vitamin D2. Cod liver oil, however, has toxins such as heavy metals in it and does not absorb well.

For more than a century, scientists have recognized that Vitamin D3 is involved in bone health. Research has continued to accumulate, documenting Calcitriol’s role in the reduction of the risk of fractures to a significant degree. The latest research, however, shows that 1,25-dihyroxy Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to a surprising number of other health conditions such as depression, back pain, cancer, both insulin resistance and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, impaired immunity and macular degeneration.

Improving Bone Health

Nano Ionic Multiple Mineral with Silica with Our NEW Vitamin D3

Strong evidence tells us that the combination of a Vitamin D3 supplement and calcium supplement can be quite helpful for preventing and treating osteoporosis. However, calcium supplements contain heavy metals such as lead. Prop 65 in California regulates the amount of lead/heavy metals in foods and supplements; it states that supplements made in California need to have less than 5ppm of lead and heavy metals. The Wellness Center is fully aware that there should not be heavy metals in our supplements. Therefore, we offer Nano Ionic Minerals, which are cell-ready and absorb instantly. The Wellness Center for Research and Education now offers you the cleanest and most effective form of D3.

D3 Toxicity

If a person has allergic reactions to Vit D, they should see a holistic health provider to determine if the problem is the brand of D.3 is toxic (poor quality ingredients), if the patient is overdosed, or if possible malabsorption issues exist. Do not use a Vitamin D3 supplement if there is an allergic reaction to vitamin D, or if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your blood, or if you have any condition that makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients from food (malabsorption). Use Digest Pro and Whole Body Deep Cleanse Kit to detoxify all filtering organs.

Metabolism

Vitamin D3 has several forms:

  • Cholecalciferol, (sometimes called calciol) which is an inactive, unhydroxylated form of vitamin D3)
  • Calcifediol (also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D3), which is the form measured in the blood to assess vitamin D status
  • Calcitriol (also called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3), which is the active form of D3.

7-Dehydrocholesterol is the precursor of vitamin D3 and forms cholecalciferol only after being exposed to solar UV radiation.

Cholecalciferol is then hydroxylated in the liver to become calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3).

Next, calcifediol is again hydroxylated, this time in the kidney, and becomes calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3). Calcitriol is the most active hormone form of vitamin D3.

Regulation of metabolism

  • Cholecalciferol is synthesized in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol under the action of ultraviolet B light. It reaches an equilibrium after several minutes depending on several factors including conditions of sunlight (latitude, season, cloud cover, altitude), age of skin, and color of skin.
  • Hydroxylation in the liver of cholecalciferol to calcifediol (25-hydroxycholecalciferol) is loosely regulated, if at all, and blood levels of this molecule largely reflect the amount of vitamin D3 produced in the skin or the vitamin D2 or D3 ingested.
  • Hydroxylation in the kidneys of calcifediol to calcitriol by 1-alpha-hydroxylase is tightly regulated (stimulated by either parathyroid hormone or hypophosphatemia) and serves as the major control point in production of the most active circulating hormone calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3).

Vitamin D3 and Specific Conditions

Cancer

The active form of vitamin D also acts an effective regulator of cell growth and differentiation in a number of different cell types, including cancer cells.

Laboratory, animal, and epidemiological evidence suggest that a Vitamin D3 supplement may be protective against some cancers. Clinical studies now show vitamin D deficiency to be associated with four of the most common cancers:

  • Breast (reference 23)
  • Prostate (reference 24-27)
  • Colon (reference 28-31)
  • Skin (reference 32,33)

Diabetes

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with insulin deficiency and insulin resistance. (1-3) In fact, last year it was shown that vitamin D deficiency is likely to be a major factor for the development of type one diabetes in children. (4)

Heart Disease

Insulin resistance is one of the major factors not only leading to the cancers mentioned above, but also to heart disease. Northern countries have higher levels of heart disease and more heart attacks occur in the winter months. (5,6)

Arthritis

Degenerative arthritis progression of the knee and hip is faster in people with lower vitamin D concentrations (33-34)

Infertility and PMS

Infertility is associated with low vitamin D (7), and PMS has been completely reversed by addition of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. (8)

Fatigue, Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Activated vitamin D in the adrenal gland regulates tyrosine hydroxyls, the rate limiting enzyme necessary for the production of dopamine, epinephrine and nor epinephrine.

Low vitamin D may contribute to chronic fatigue and depression. (9-10) Seasonal Affective Disorder has been treated successfully with vitamin D. In a recent study covering 30 days of treatment comparing Vitamin D and 2-hour daily use of ‘light boxes’, depression completely resolved in the D group, but not in the light box group. (11)

Autoimmune Disorders

Multiple Sclerosis, (12) Sjogren’sSyndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis and Crohn’s disease have all been linked with low vitamin D levels.

Single, infrequent, intense, skin exposure to UV-B light suppresses the immune system. However chronic low-level exposure normalizes immune function and enhances immune cell production. This reduces abnormal inflammatory responses such as found in autoimmune disorders, and reducing occurrences of infectious disease. (14-18)

Obesity

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with obesity. (18, 19) Vitamin D has recently been shown to lower leptin secretion. (20) Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells and is involved in weight regulation. It is thought that the hormone signals the brain when fat cells are “full,” but exactly how the hormone controls weight is not entirely clear.

Additionally, obesity by itself probably further worsens vitamin D deficiency due to the decreased bioavailability of vitamin D (3) from skin and dietary sources, because of its being deposited in body fat. (36)

Syndrome X

Vitamin D deficiency has been clearly linked with Syndrome X. (21) Syndrome X refers specifically to a group of health problems that can include insulin resistance (the inability to properly deal with dietary carbohydrates and sugars), abnormal blood fats (such as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides), overweight, and high blood pressure.

Vitamin D and Steroids

There is some evidence that steroids may also impair vitamin D metabolism, further contributing to the loss of bone and development of osteoporosis associated with steroid medications. For these reasons, individuals on chronic steroid therapy should consult with their physician or registered dietitian about themed to increase vitamin D intake through diet and/or dietary supplements.

According to the National Institute of Health Vitamin D the following are the recommended dosage. However, Dose Recommendations below may not be correct for each individual. I recommend you test each patient.

Age Dosage
Below 5 35 units per pound per day
Age 5 – 10 2500 units
Age 18 – 30 5000 units
Pregnant Women 5000 units

WARNING:

There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct. The ONLY way to know is to test your blood. You might need 4-5 times the amount recommended above. Ideally your blood level of 25 OH D should be approximately 60ng/ml.

References

The above document was based on the research below and the National Institutes of Health Document on Vitamin D.

1. Hypponen E, Laara E, Reunanen A, Intakeof vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study. Lancet.2001 Nov 3;358(9292):1500-3.

2. Billaudel B, Barakat L, Faure-DussertA. Vitamin D3 deficiency and alterations of glucose metabolism in ratendocrine pancreas. Diabetes Metab 1998;24:344-50.

3. Bourlon PM, Billaudel B, Faure-DussertA. Influence of vitamin D3 deficiency and 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 onde novo insulin biosynthesis in the islets of the rat endocrine pancreas.J.Endocrinol. 1999;160:87-95.

4. Ortlepp JR, Lauscher J, Hoffmann R,The vitamin D receptor gene variant is associated with the prevalenceof type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease. Diabet Med. 2001Oct;18(10):842-5.

5 Segall JJ. Latitude and ischaemic heartdisease [letter]. Lancet 1989;1:1146.

6 Williams FL, Lloyd OL. Latitude and heartdisease [letter]. Lancet 1989;1:1072-3.

7. Panda DK, Miao D, Tremblay ML, Targetedablation of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1alpha -hydroxylase enzyme: evidencefor skeletal, reproductive, and immune dysfunction. Proc Natl Acad SciU S A. 2001 Jun 19;98(13):7498-503.

8. Thys-Jacobs S. Micronutrients and thepremenstrual syndrome: the case for calcium. J.Am.Coll.Nutr. 2000;19:220-7.

9. Puchacz E, Stumpf WE, Stachowiak EK,Stachowiak MK. Vitamin D increases expression of the tyrosine hydroxylasegene in adrenal medullary cells. Brain Res.Mol.Brain Res. 1996;36:193-6.

10. : Gloth FM 3rd, Alam W, Hollis B. VitaminD vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affectivedisorder. J Nutr Health Aging. 1999;3(1):5-7.

11. Gloth FM, III, Alam W, Hollis B. VitaminD vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affectivedisorder. J.Nutr.Health Aging 1999;3:5-7.

12 : Hayes CE. Vitamin D: a natural inhibitorof multiple sclerosis. Proc Nutr Soc. 2000 Nov;59(4):531-5.

13. McMichael AJ, Hall AJ. Multiple sclerosisand ultraviolet radiation: time to shed more light.Neuroepidemiology.2001 Aug;20(3):165-7.

14. Deluca HF, Cantorna MT. Vitamin D:its role and uses in immunology. FASEB J. 2001 Dec;15(14):2579-85.

16. Long KZ, Santos JI. Vitamins and theregulation of the immune response. Pediatr.Infect.Dis.J. 1999;18:283-90.

17. Ghezzi A, Zaffaroni M. Neurologicalmanifestations of gastrointestinal disorders, with particular referenceto the differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Neurol Sci 2001 Nov;22Suppl 2:S117-22

18 Cantorna MT. Vitamin D and autoimmunity:is vitamin D status an environmental factor affecting autoimmune diseaseprevalence? Proc.Soc.Exp.Biol.Med. 2000;223:230-3

19 Shi H, Norman AW, Okamura WH, Sen A,Zemel MB.1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 modulates human adipocyte metabolismvia nongenomic action. FASEB J. 2001 Dec;15(14):2751-3

20 Speer G, Cseh K, Winkler G, VitaminD and estrogen receptor gene polymorphisms in type 2 diabetes mellitusand in android type obesity. Eur J Endocrinol. 2001 Apr;144(4):385-9.

21 Henendez C, Lage M, Peino R, Retinoicacid and vitamin D(3) powerfully inhibit in vitro leptin secretion byhuman adipose tissue.J Endocrinol. 2001 Aug;170(2):425-31

22 Boucher BJ. Inadequate vitamin D status:does it contribute to the disorders comprising syndrome ‘X’? [publishederratum appears in Br J Nutr 1998 Dec;80(6):585]. Br.J.Nutr. 1998;79:315-27.

23 Grant WB An ecologic study of dietaryand solar ultraviolet-B links to breast carcinoma mortality rates.Cancer2002 Jan 1;94(1):272-81

24 Polek TC, Weigel NL. Vitamin D and prostatecancer. J Androl. 2002 Jan-Feb;23(1):9-17.

25 Luscombe CJ, French ME, Liu S, Prostatecancer risk: associations with ultraviolet radiation, tyrosinase and melanocortin-1receptor genotypes.Br J Cancer. 2001 Nov;85(10):1504-9.

26 Hansen CM, Binderup L, Hamberg KJ, VitaminD and cancer: effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 and its analogs on growth controland tumorigenesis. Front Biosci. 2001 Jul 1;6:D820-48.

27 Tuohimaa P, Lyakhovich A, Aksenov N,Vitamin D and prostate cancer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2001 Jan-Mar;76(1-5):125-34

28 Mokady E, Schwartz B, Shany S, A protectiverole of dietary vitamin D3 in rat colon carcinogenesis. Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(1):65-73.

29 Platz EA, Hankinson SE, Hollis BW, Plasma1,25-dihydroxy- and 25-hydroxyvitamin D and adenomatous polyps of thedistal colorectum.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 Oct;9(10):1059-65.

30 Tangpricha V, Flanagan JN, WhitlatchLW, 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1alpha-hydroxylase in normal and malignant colontissue. Lancet. 2001 May 26;357(9269):1673-4.

31 Lamprecht SA, Lipkin M. Cellular mechanismsof calcium and vitamin D in the inhibition of colorectal carcinogenesis.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Dec;952:73-87.

32 Majewski S, Kutner A, Jablonska S. VitaminD analogs in cutaneous malignancies.Curr Pharm Des. 2000 May;6(7):829-38.

33 Braun MM, Tucker MA. A role for photoproductsof vitamin D in the etiology of cutaneous melanoma? Med Hypotheses. 1997Apr;48(4):351-4.

34 McAlindon TE, Felson DT, et al. Relationof dietary intake and serum levels of vitamin D to progression of osteoarthritisof the knee among participants in the Framingham Study. Ann Intern Med1996; 125: 353-359

35 Lane NE, Nevitt MC, Gore LR, CummingsSR. Serum levels of vitamin D and hip osteoarthritis in elderly women:a longitudinal study. Arthritis Rheum 1997; 40(suppl): S238.

36. WortsmanJ, Matsuoka LY, Chen TC, Lu Z, Holick MF. Decreased bioavailability ofvitamin D in obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Sep;72(3):690-3)

37. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition October 2006; 84(4): 694-697

38. VITAMIN D AND HEALTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY: BONE AND BEYOND

Vitamin D status, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, and the immune system1,2,3,4

Margherita T Cantorna, Yan Zhu, Monica Froicu and Anja Wittke

From the Departments of Nutritional Sciences (MTC, YZ, AW) and Pathobiology (MF), Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

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