Vitamin D Targets Root Cause of Crohn’s Disease

| Apr 27, 2017

We’ve known for decades that vitamin D is a critically important nutrient—but we’re still uncovering new ways in which it benefits the body.

In past articles, we’ve discussed how maintaining optional levels of vitamin D protects against the development of cancer (and even helps treat it), as well as many other prevalent conditions, including heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and cognitive disorders.

Some evidence even suggests that influenza can only occur in vitamin D-deficient individuals—one of many reasons why vitamin D level maintenance trumps vaccines when it comes to flu prevention.

Now researchers have turned their attention to vitamin D’s ability to combat Crohn’s disease, which is characterized by an imbalance between your immune system and the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

Vitamin D heals diseases like Crohn’s on a genetic level

There are many theories about how vitamin D confers such wide-ranging health benefits. We’re still decoding its tremendously complex mechanisms, but we’ve come a long way from believing it does nothing more than prevent rickets.

One reason why vitamin D affects so many aspects of the body is its ability to influence gene expression. Genes act as the “switches” that regulate a staggering number of processes throughout the body, from the synthesis of beneficial compounds and energy metabolism to immune function and cell maintenance.

Vitamin D influences at least 2,000 of your body’s genes, effectively targeting the root causes and conditions of disease.   

A recent study demonstrated that vitamin D acts on two genes directly implicated in the development of Crohn’s disease, the human beta-defensin-2 gene (HBD-2) and the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 gene (NOD2).[1]

In order to understand how defects in these genes can cause Crohn’s disease, let’s first examine the disease itself. Crohn’s disease is characterized by chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. This inflammation is essentially an immune response gone haywire—the immune system loses the ability to respond properly to GI bacteria, begins attacking healthy tissue, and gets stuck in a continuous cascade of inflammatory response.

The condition is notoriously difficult to treat, in part because microbiome issues are incredibly complex. In some cases, an overabundance of harmful bacteria can trigger immune response in the GI tract, and other times autoimmune dysfunction creates the imbalance by attacking healthy bacteria. Regardless, the end result is the same: a vicious cycle of bacterial imbalance that escalates into a full-blown autoimmune disorder, damaging the GI tract and causing painful swelling and diarrhea.

This is where those genes come in. The HBD-2 gene is expressed as an antibiotic peptide that works in close association with inflammatory response, and the NOD2 gene helps alert cells when microbes and other foreign agents enter the body.

Restoring them to proper function therefore works wonders for combatting the etiology of Crohn’s disease—the body is thereby able to distinguish between harmful microbes and beneficial bacteria or tissue, and it can restore bacterial balance by attacking only the microbes that are harmful to the GI tract.

And vitamin D even goes a step further to address the root causes of Crohn’s disease. It helps the body synthesize over 200 different antimicrobial peptides, and modulates the immune system (meaning that it not only boosts it, but also keeps it from being overactive). Researchers have now concluded that vitamin D is “a key feature of the immune system.”[2]

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Mainstream healthcare professionals are just barely beginning to understand that testing for vitamin D deficiency should be one of the very first actions taken during diagnosis and treatment.

The majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and the numbers correlate almost exactly with incidence of chronic disease. Crohn’s disease is no exception. Researchers have found that Crohn’s disease patients are deficient in vitamin D, that vitamin D levels increase when the disease is effectively treated,[3] and that vitamin D supplementation can help attenuate the condition.[4]

If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, or if you have any other reason to believe that you’re deficient in vitamin D, be sure to get your levels tested (just ask your doctor to order a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test). If your blood levels are not 55-65 ng/ml, it’s time to take action.

Start by spending at least twenty minutes out in the sun every day—no sunscreen, as much skin exposed as possible. If you live in a latitude above Atlanta, Georgia, though (or if it’s cloudy or cold a good portion of the year), you’ll need to resort to supplementation.

In fact, vitamin D supplementation is by far the simplest way to keep your levels optimized, whether or not you’re able to soak up some sunshine on a daily basis. Just make sure you work with a highly absorbable formulation (liposomal delivery is best), and always take vitamin K at the same time (not doing so can actually be dangerous).

2 Things You NEED to KNOW when selecting a D3 Supplement

1. Warning:  NEVER take Vitamin D Without Vitamin K2

Just as important as vitamin D3 is taking vitamin K2! Taking Vitamin D without vitamin K could actually be harmful to your Health!

When it comes to calcium metabolism, vitamins D and K work together. Both play important roles. Vitamin D gets calcium into your blood and Vitamin K gets it to the bones and prevents the calcium from accumulating in your arteries, kidneys or heart.

You don’t want rogue calcium going to the wrong places, causing joint stiffness or arterial plaque. Vitamin K2 insures that your body uses calcium properly. *

2. Most D3 Supplements are NOT absorbable.

When D3 cannot be absorbed, your body is unable to assimilate and you will not get the benefits. So you still end up with the symptoms.

PuraTHRIVE Introduces Vitamin D3 with K2: a formula that’s “liposomalized”—meaning it’s specifically blended to make D3 + Vitamin K2 bind to phosphlipids (fats) that increase its bioavailability more than 20 times.

Special introductory offer – stock up today

 

* Vitamin K is not recommended for those taking Blood Thinners.


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4077052/

[2] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/osu-kfo081809.php

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24154811

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