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Vitamin D and Protective Immunity

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  • Vitamin D and Protective Immunity

    Vitamin D and the Immune System

    Cynthia Aranow, MD, Investigator


    It is now clear that vitamin D has important roles in addition to its classic effects on calcium and bone homeostasis. As the vitamin D receptor is expressed on immune cells (B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells) and these immunologic cells are all are capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D metabolite, vitamin D has the capability of acting in an autocrine manner in a local immunologic milieu. Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. As immune cells in autoimmune diseases are responsive to the ameliorative effects of vitamin D, the beneficial effects of supplementing vitamin D deficient individuals with autoimmune disease may extend beyond the effects on bone and calcium homeostasis.

    The immune system defends the body from foreign, invading organisms, promoting protective immunity while maintaining tolerance to self. The implications of vitamin D deficiency on the immune system have become clearer in recent years and in the context of vitamin D deficiency, there appears to be an increased susceptibility to infection and a diathesis, in a genetically susceptible host to autoimmunity.


    Vitamin D and Protective Immunity

    Vitamin D has been used (unknowingly) to treat infections such as tuberculosis before the advent of effective antibiotics. Tuberculosis patients were sent to sanatoriums where treatment included exposure to sunlight which was thought to directly kill the tuberculosis. Cod liver oil, a rich source of vitamin D has also been employed as a treatment for tuberculosis as well as for general increased protection from infections[7].

    There have been multiple cross-sectional studies associating lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection. One report studied almost 19,000 subjects between 1988 and 1994. Individuals with lower vitamin D levels (<30 ng/ml) were more likely to self-report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for variables including season, age, gender, body mass and race[8].

    Last edited by JimO; January 30, 2020, 03:50 PM.
    "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

  • #2

    Objective To observe the effect of vitamin D on angiotensin converting enzyme 2 ( ACE2 ) and vitamin D receptor ( VDR ) expression in Wister rat models of acute lung injury ( ALI ) induced by using lipopolysaccharide ( LPS). Methods The rat models of ALI induced by LPS were established by intravenous injection of LPS via tail vein. Thirty Wistar rats were randomly ( random number) divided into 6 groups; normal control group, LPS group, calcitriol (25 μ, g/kg) group, LPS + calcitriol 1 u-μ/kg group, LPS + calcitriol 5 μg/kg group and LPS + calcitriol 25 μg/kg group. The changes of general condition, lung pathology, lung wet/dry weight ratio and changes of VDR mRNA and ACE2 mRNA expressions and protein levels of VDR and ACE2 in rats were observed. Results The clinical manifestations ( rapid shallow breathing; listlessness; the oral and nose hemorrhage) in LPS group were obvious, and the clinical manifestations and pathological changes of lung tissues in the LPS + calcitriol groups were significantly milder than those in LPS group. The expressions of VDR mRNA and ACE2 mRNA in LPS group was significantly lower than those in normal control group and calcitriol group ( P < 0. 05 ). The expressions of VDR mRNA and ACE2 mRNA in LPS + calcitriol groups were significantly higher than those in LPS group ( P <0. 05 ), and lower than those in normal control group significantly ( P < 0. 05 ). Meanwhile, among LPS + calcitriol groups, there was no significant difference in expression of VDR mRNA ( P > 0. 05 ) and there was significant difference in ACE2 mRNA expression ( P < 0. 05 ). Conclusions Calcitriol can increase the expressions of VDR mRNA and ACE2 mRNA and protein levels of VDR and ACE2 in rat models of LPS-induced ALI, thus suggesting the increased expressions of ACE2 mRNA and VDR mRNA playing a role in protection against the development of ALI.
    ?The only security we have is our ability to adapt."


    • #3
      Former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden: Coronavirus infection risk may be reduced by Vitamin D

      As we race to develop effective treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19, people are looking to reduce their risk of getting sick. One thing that might help is as obvious as the sun in the sky and as close as your medicine cabinet – Vitamin D.

      Higher COVID-19 mortality rates among older people and those with
      chronic conditions suggest that a weakened immune system contributes to poor outcomes. There are many crackpot claims about miracle cures floating around, but the science supports the possibility – although not the proof – that Vitamin D may strengthen the immune system, particularly of people whose Vitamin D levels are low.

      Vitamin D supplementation
      reduces the risk of respiratory infection, regulates cytokine production and can limit the risk of other viruses such as influenza. A respiratory infection can result in cytokine storms – a vicious cycle in which our inflammatory cells damage organs throughout the body – which increase mortality for those with COVID-19. Adequate Vitamin D may potentially provide some modest protection for vulnerable populations.

      more with video interview...
      "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta


      • #4
        This is the full, uncut video that includes information and theories on ACE-2 enzymes and receptors, Covid-19, elderly patients, why those on blood pressure medication should stay on it, estrogen, placental influences on ACE-2, Vitamin D influences on ACE-2, and Vitamin D influences on pre-eclampsia. It also contains theories on why younger Americans who are obese, sedentary, and Vitamin D deficient may be at risk for contracting this disease.

        Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

        i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

        (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
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