August 26, 2010

Study: Lack of Vitamin D Leads to Disease

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Vitamin D isn't just for strong bones anymore. The vitamin directly influences over 200 genes in your body and a lack of it plays a strong role in the susceptibility to all sorts of diseases, even cancer.

In a study at the University of Oxford, researchers created a map of vitamin D receptor binding across the human genome. This receptor is a protein that attaches itself to DNA and therefore influences what our genetic code produces.

There were nearly 3,000 binding sites for this vitamin D receptor, the majority unusually concentrated near genes associated with autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.

"Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy and the early years could have a beneficial effect on a child's health later in life. Some countries such as France have instituted this as a routine public health measure," Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan, lead author, was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: Genome Research, August 2010.