Can Your Genes Tell You if You Benefit From Vitamin D?

vitamin D

Take-away Message: Studying the expression of genes that are dependent on vitamin D makes it possible to identify individuals who will benefit from vitamin D supplementation, shows a University of Eastern Finland study published recently in PLoS One.

Population-based studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for chronic diseases and weaken the body’s immune system. In the present study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, the study participants were given a daily dose of either 40 or 80 micrograms of vitamin D, or a placebo, over a course of 5 months during Finnish winter. The results showed that the expression of vitamin D dependent genes in adipose tissue and monocytes, i.e. white blood cells, correlated only in half of the study participants with their vitamin D concentrations in the blood.

The researchers concluded that persons whose expression of the CD14 and thrombomodulin genes was not altered as a result of vitamin D supplementation already had a sufficiently high serum vitamin D concentration or their utilization of vitamin D was disturbed, which calls for further study. The researchers believe that studying the expression of vitamin D dependent genes in tissues is a novel way to identify individuals who might benefit from long-term vitamin D supplementation. This observation is further supported by the fact that studying alterations in the expression of genes also made it possible to identify persons whose levels of interleukin 6, an inflammation marker, were reduced as their serum vitamin D levels increased.

I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

References: 

1. University of Eastern Finland. “Who benefits from vitamin D?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813101005.htm>.
2. Carsten Carlberg, Sabine Seuter, Vanessa D. F. de Mello, Ursula Schwab, Sari Voutilainen, Kari Pulkki, Tarja Nurmi, Jyrki Virtanen, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Matti Uusitupa. Primary Vitamin D Target Genes Allow a Categorization of Possible Benefits of Vitamin D3 SupplementationPLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (7): e71042 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071042
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s