Friday, 05 February 2016

Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties

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Prof Newsholme says the findings were exciting because it fed into longer term studies, in particular examining the effects of vitamin D levels in humans and its impact on metabolism. Prof Newsholme says the findings were exciting because it fed into longer term studies, in particular examining the effects of vitamin D levels in humans and its impact on metabolism. iStock
  • Regular Vitamin D doses can tame inflammation linked to chromic diseases
  • Adequate time in the sun can supplement bolsters immune cell function
  • Vitamin D deficiency can lead to soft bones

VITAMIN D supplements can control inflammation associated with chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes.

This finding is based on a review by Curtin University scientists of 23 immune cell studies.

“We found evidence that vitamin D was able to indirectly quench reactive oxygen species, which are accepted as a major factor in the onset and development of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes,” Professor Philip Newsholme says.

“In fact, inflammation may contribute to a multitude of diseases,” Prof Newsholme says

The results showed for the average person, if they were getting adequate levels of sun exposure or taking a vitamin D supplement, then their immune cell function would benefit.

People who had a good immune cell defence were more likely to have good overall health, according to the review.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to soft bones or osteoporosis, with symptoms often not evident or ranging from muscle or joint pain, depression and fatigue. It can only be diagnosed via a blood test.

However, this can be avoided by taking the daily supplement or spending time in the sun.

“These kinds of diseases are associated from chronic inflammation and may well benefit from ensuring people have adequate amounts of vitamin D so that they can then supress any adverse levels of inflammation,” he says.

The researchers examined vitamin D in its active form being injected into human cells, focusing their attention on chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

Prof Newsholme says the findings were exciting because it fed into longer term studies, in particular examining the effects of vitamin D levels in humans and its impact on metabolism.

“We believe vitamin D is important for regulation of immune cell metabolism and function, therefore may impact and reduce the onset of chronic inflammatory diseases related to ageing such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” he says.

He is now part of a clinical trial which takes blood samples from people and examines their vitamin D levels in winter, these participants are due to be tested again in February.

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