I've posted a link to this article and paper in the UTI thread and feel that rather than hijack a thread about UTI treatment/prevention it would be better to blog on the topic in a separate article.
The article is based on research paper called
"Restoration of regulatory and effector T cell balance and B cell homeostasis in
systemic lupus erythematosus patients through vitamin D supplementation"
The full text of the research can be found here.
and a plain English account of the research can be found at Science Daily
Vitamin D supplements may benefit lupus patients
I come at this from many years of studying papers about vitamin D3 and following the vitamin D3 research. I do not have lupus or an autoimmune condition. I do have a chronic disablity condition (Late Effects of Polio) and while I'm sure there is much about Lupus that I can learn, the basics of human evolution and how the human body works are common to all of us.
I'd therefore like to talk about how the above study could have been improved. The study used 100 000 IU of cholecalciferol per week for 4 weeks, followed by 100 000 IU of cholecalciferol per month for 6 months.
100,000 each week is roughly equivalent to 14,000iu daily. Naturally if we lay naked on a tropical beach turning over regularly so we didn't get sunburnt the action of UVB on 7 dehydrocholesterol molecules near skin surface creates 10,000~20,000iu that MAY be absorbed into the body over the next 48hrs. So although this counts as a mega-dose it isn't wholly unreasonable.
100 000 IU of cholecalciferol per month = 3333 iu daily approximately.
Bear in mind this study took place in PARIS and that's latitude 48 and SOUTH of all of the UK (nearer the Equator means more/stronger sunlight and more potential for vit d production)
Raising Vitamin D levels rapidly obliges the body to readjust it's immune response which takes time, It would IMO have been better to use DAILY Vitamin D supplements and kept DAILY Vitamin D3 intake at 10,000 iu/daily for 40 days (instead of just 4 weeks ) would have more like the natural increase in vitamin D3 status at the start of a long sunny summer holiday. and would have allowed the body more time to adjust immune function to the more gradual change in 25(OH)D level.
The maintainance intake of 100 000 IU of cholecalciferol per month averages out to about 3333iu/daily and for people living in the UK that is typically NOT sufficient to maintain 25(OH)D at the level human DNA evolved to function best with or enable vitamin D3 to act most efficiently as an anti-inflammatory agent. While there is a huge range of response to every daily intake of around 100 ng/ml 250nmol/l difference between the highest/lowest responders, typically in the UK 1000iu/daily/D3 is required to attain/maintain 25(OH)D above 100nmol/l and around 125nmol/l (40~50ng/ml)
In my view (and I'm not a health professional or a researcher, just someone who has had to learn how to improve anti-inflammatory status to control pain and infection) it is justifiable to use a loading dose to raise vitamin D levels rapidly but having done so it seems pointless to allow 25(OH)D levels to drop below the level of natural Vit d equilibrium. I would prefer 25(OH)D levels to be monitored monthly (If you bulk buy tests from Birmingham NHS path lab (City Assays) they cost £20 each and while this is significant for a research project it would enable trial participants to know when to reduce intake and continued testing would enable more frequent adjustments to intake to maintain 25(OH)D at the 125nmol/l 50ng/ml level throughout the trial.
The ONE month loading period and SIX month maintainence is simply not adequate to properly assess the effects of vitamin d on autoimmune conditions. Where doctors have been using EFFECTIVE vitamin D3 intakes. See Topping up your vitamin D tank
We know it can take up to 3 years before the body indicates it can manage on a lower dose.
We know that EVERY CELL in the Human Body has a Vitamin D Receptor indicating it has a vitamin d requirement.
We need proper long term research, in which fully replete Vitamin D trial participants equal those vitamin D levels naturally attained/maintained by people currently living as human DNA evolved.
If we think about where and how early humans evolved we should be aware of factors OTHER than Vitamin D3 that also affect immune function and may also affect the way Vitamin D3 functions.
We know from DAWN to DUSK human DNA is set to create vitamin D3 and from DUSK to DAWN it creates MELATONIN. Both of these are natural anti-oxidants, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive agents. We should therefore try to take our Vitamin D3 first thing every morning (ideally in a form with a carrier oil (it's a fat soluble vitamin) and with a breakfast including saturated FAT to improve absorption.
We should also try to minimise the use of electric light after dusk and dim our monitors and other LED device displays to improve evening melatonin secretion and pay more attention to sleep hygiene to increase melatonin secretion throughout the night.
f.lux: software to make your life better
(also available for Mac, Linux , and iPhone/iPad)
All the food eaten by our Paleo ancestors and humans continuing to live Hunter Gatherer lives was/is free range organic produce. Because it grew without the use of modern fertilizers, pesticides or the benefit of modern breeding techniques it was produced more slowly and produced a more nutrient dense food that was higher in magnesium and had an omega 3 omega 6 ratio about 1<> 1 so the body was able to benefit from both omega 3 and omega 6. Modern Western Diets lead to higher omega 6 levels that overwhelm the ability of omega 3 to resolve inflammation, but that is a topic for a separate blog.
As far as this blog is concerned it's important to be aware that BOTH magnesium and the Omega 3 DHA improve the ability of the circulating form of Vitamin D3 (CALCIDIOL) switch to the active hormonal form (CALCITRIOL) we know also that the omega 3 DHA acts as a vitamin D receptor ligand that increases the production of CALCITRIOL.
If we want our car or computer to perform optimally according to the makers specifications we have to ensure we continue to maintain the original specifications..
If we want to see how the human body can optimally control the immune and inflammatory response we first have to ensure the natural levels of anti inflammatory agents vitamin D3, melatonin, omega 3 and magnesium are supplied according to our cells circadian rhythm.
While this study does produce interesting results it certainly isn't a perfect piece of research and I am absolutely certain we can and should do better. I'm very pleased to answer any questions that may arise and I'd like to be able to post further blogs on the role of vitamin D3 (and it's cofactors) in the prevention and management of autoimmune conditions.