Vitamin D Fights Crohn's Disease
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A new study
has found that Vitamin D can counter the effects of Crohn's disease.
found that Vitamin D acts directly on the beta defensin 2 gene,
which encodes an antimicrobial peptide, and the NOD2 gene that alerts
cells to the presence of invading microbes.
Both beta defensin
and NOD2 have been linked to Crohn's disease. If NOD2 is deficient
or defective, it cannot combat invaders in the intestinal tract.
January 27, 2010
known for some time of the importance of vitamin D in the treatment
of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohns and ulcerative
colitis. I posted a study
on this ten years ago.
In my view
it is reprehensible and irresponsible not to measure the levels
of vitamin D in patients with this disease. You need to measure
the vitamin D level in your blood, as it is virtually impossible
to simply know whether or not it is in the therapeutic levels of
55 to 65 ng/ml.
If you or
someone you know has this disease, please beg them to get their
vitamin D level monitored. Most adults need at least 5000 units
per day, but some may actually require up to 50,000 units per day.
There is just no way of knowing without measuring.
is NO benefit, and likely some harm if you take too much. So simply
popping loads of vitamin D pills is not the way to optimize your
vitamin D. The only time you dont need to measure your vitamin
D levels is when you have nearly daily access to high-quality sunshine.
Disease Is an Immune System Disorder
disease is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of your
gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Any area of
your digestive tract can be affected, from your mouth to your anus,
but Crohns most commonly affects the lower part of your small
intestine known as the ileum. Swelling from the inflammation can
be painful and often results in diarrhea.
is found in men and women in equal numbers and seems to have a genetic
component. About 20 percent of Crohns sufferers also have
a relative usually a parent or sibling with some form
of inflammatory bowel disease.
The cause of
Crohns is thought to be impairment in the way your immune
system handles intestinal bacteria. This improper immune system
response leads to an inflammatory condition that can result in an
If you have
an autoimmune disorder, it means your immune system is attacking
and destroying healthy body tissue.
D is the Miracle Nutrient for Your Immune System
One of the
reasons that vitamin D may work is that it helps your body produce
over 200 anti-microbial peptides that help fight all sorts of infections.
There are many experts that believe inflammatory bowl disease has
an infectious trigger.
From a recent
Oregon State University press
A new study
has concluded that one key part of the immune system, the ability
of vitamin D to regulate anti-bactericidal proteins, is so important
that it has been conserved through almost 60 million years of
evolution and is shared only by primates, including humans
but no other known animal species.
that this vitamin-D mediated immune response has been retained
through millions of years of evolutionary selection, and is still
found in species ranging from squirrel monkeys to baboons and
humans, suggests that it must be critical to their survival, researchers
the "cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide" has several
different biological activities in addition to killing pathogens,
it's not clear which one, or combination of them, makes vitamin
D so essential to its regulation.
also provides further evidence of the biological importance of
adequate levels of vitamin D in humans and other primates, even
as some studies and experts suggest that more than 50 percent
of the children and adults in the U.S. are deficient in "the
existence and importance of this part of our immune response makes
it clear that humans and other primates need to maintain sufficient
levels of vitamin D," said Adrian Gombart, an associate professor
of biochemistry and a principal investigator with the Linus Pauling
Institute at Oregon State University.
terms, if youre vitamin D deficient, your immune system will
not activate to do its job. And since vitamin D also modulates (balances)
your immune response, it prevents an overreaction in the form of
inflammation, which can lead to autoimmune disorders like Crohns
Vitamin D Do You Need?
As I said previously,
the only way to determine the correct oral dose of vitamin D is
your blood tested.
using Lab Corp in the U.S. If you get it done by Quest, youll
need to divide your result by 1.3 to get the number that actually
correlates with all the research.
correct test is the first step in this process, as there are TWO
vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D, and 25(OH)D.
test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin
D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker
that is most strongly associated with overall health.
normal 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is between 20 and
56 ng/ml. As you can see in the chart below, this conventional range
is really a sign of deficiency, and is too broad to be ideal.
In fact, your
vitamin D level should never be below 32 ng/ml, and any levels below
20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency states, increasing your
risk of as many as 16 different cancers and autoimmune diseases
like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a
value that youre looking for is 5565 ng/ml.
applies for everyone; children, adolescents, adults and seniors.
are based on healthy people in tropical or subtropical parts of
the world, where they are receiving healthy sun exposures. It seems
more than reasonable to assume that these values are in fact reflective
of an optimal human requirement.
level in this range, and even erring
toward the higher numbers in this range, is going to give you
the most protective benefit. And the way you maintain your levels
within this range is by getting tested regularly say two
to four times a year in the beginning, and adjusting your vitamin
D intake accordingly.
New Resource for all the Latest Vitamin D News
the powerful sunshine nutrient, is known for its many
wonderful benefits including protection from multiple sclerosis,
diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.
is so vital to your health, Ive added a special section to
my website dedicated exclusively to keeping my readers updated on
all the late-breaking vitamin D news.
provides you with important vitamin D resources you cant easily
find on the web, such as articles, tips and an online forum that
will help you avoid vitamin D deficiency and lead a healthier life.
you to bookmark this link and visit it often to stay on top of all
the latest research and guidance on optimizing and maintaining your
vitamin D levels.
© 2010 Dr. Joseph Mercola