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Published on April 29, 2022

Dispelling a common misconception about vitamin D3, and adding to the importance of daily dosing through sun, supplement, and/or diet

Key Points

  • While many people call the hormonal form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (which is made by the kidneys and circulated in the blood) the “active” form of vitamin D, it is absolutely essential to understand that this form of vitamin D is not the only one that has specific and important effects within the body
  • In addition to being delivered to the liver for conversion to 25(OH)D, vitamin D3 is also delivered directly to all tissues of the body; many of these tissues, such as breast, colon, prostate, and brain, can convert vitamin D3 to its other forms directly, and it is through this process that vitamin D (as vitamin D3, the form we make from the sun or get from food and supplements) can help enable the cells to fight against infections, disease, and autoimmune disorders
  • Vitamin D3 itself is actively used by the cells as a “potent and general mediator of endothelial stability at physiologically relevant levels;” while each form of vitamin D can increase stability within minutes, inhibiting permeability of the endothelial and vascular lining, and reversing inflammation, vitamin D3 had the most potent effect – more than 10 times more potent than 1,25(OH)2D and more than 1,000 times more potent than 25(OH)D

 

“Vitamin D” is a term that refers to several compounds, most often Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol – the form we get from food, sun, and supplements), 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D or Calcifediol – the form we measure in the blood], and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D or Calcitriol –referred to the hormonal form of vitamin D]. The chart below illustrates each of these different forms of vitamin D and some of their specific actions.

While many people call the hormonal form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (which is made by the kidneys and circulated in the blood) the “active” form of vitamin D, it is absolutely essential to understand that this form of vitamin D is not the only one that has specific and important effects within the body.

Could There be More to Native Vitamin D3 Than Previously Thought?

What has not been appreciated until relatively recently is that, in addition to being delivered to the liver for conversion to 25(OH)D, vitamin D3 is also delivered directly to all tissues of the body. Many of these tissues, such as breast, colon, prostate, and brain, can convert vitamin D3 to its other forms directly within the tissue. It is through this process that vitamin D (as vitamin D3, the form we make from the sun or get from food and supplements) can help enable the cells to fight against infections, disease, and autoimmune disorders.

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Vitamin D3 has been shown to have especially profound effects on endothelial and vascular stability. Endothelial cells form the inner lining of the heart and blood vessels (veins, arteries, capillaries) and the lymphatic system. The disruption in the tightness and stability of endothelial and vascular tissues is common among many inflammatory based diseases. This disruption contributes to dysfunctional nutrient exchange, inflammatory cell migration, and abnormal clotting. Addressing this disruption has been shown to lessen the effects from the inflammatory diseases involved.

Vitamin D3 – The Most Potent Form of Vitamin D for Endothelial Stability

A study by Gibson et al. looked at a genetic inflammatory disease called cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) to identify potential suppressors of the disease and resulting destabilization of the endothelial membranes. They found vitamin D3, the pre-converted form that our bodies get from food, supplements and sun, to have such effects both in vitro and in vivo. In a subsequent study, the researchers investigated whether vitamin D3 and its metabolites could provide general endothelial stability outside of the genetic disease model.

The authors discovered that, not only is vitamin D3 itself needed and taken in by the cells, it is also actively used by the cells as a “potent and general mediator of endothelial stability at physiologically relevant levels.” They found that each form of vitamin D (vitamin D3, 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D) increased stability within minutes, inhibiting permeability of the endothelial and vascular lining, and reversing inflammation, all of which resulted in reduced leakage into surrounding tissues. Of particular note in the results was that vitamin D3, which was previously thought to be inactive, had the most potent effect – more than 10 times more potent than 1,25(OH)2D and more than 1,000 times more potent than 25(OH)D. They also discovered that vitamin D3 directly inhibited the destabilizing effects of multiple pro-inflammatory signals, such as interleukin-1b, tumor necrosis factor-a, and bacterial lipopolysaccharides.

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Overall, the data from this study shows that vitamin D sterols, especially vitamin D3 itself, acts directly to suppress and prevent destabilization of the endothelial membranes and its negative effects. This direct action of vitamin D3, along with the knowledge that the half-life of vitamin D3 in the body is roughly 24 hours, is further evidence in support of obtaining a daily dose of vitamin D3 through supplements, diet, and/or UVB exposure.

Are You Low in Vitamin D?  Check Your Level from Home

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D levels and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Choose which additional nutrients to measure, such as your omega-3s and essential minerals including magnesium and zinc, by creating your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. With measurement you can then determine how much is needed and steps to achieve your goals.  You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

Enroll in D*action and Test Your Levels Today!

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.

NEWS ALERT

The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!