Tuesday, November 1, 2011



Until recently, most people, including those in the medical profession, believed that vitamin D only played a role in bone health. However, newer studies show that vitamin D affects all tissues and organs of the body, including the brain. Receptors for vitamin D3 are located within the nucleus of brain cells, but also exist on the surface of cell membranes.

One of the best-known functions of vitamin D3 is its ability to regulate immune cells in the body. If immune function is depressed, vitamin D3 raises it. If immune faction is overactive vitamin D3 suppresses it. This particular property makes vitamin D3 incredibly valuable in brain protection, because so many brain disorders are the direct result of inflammation.

Newer studies have shown that vitamin D3 can activate genes in brain cells that stimulate the production of brain-repair hormones, inhibit nitric oxide production, and increase cell levels of a protective compound called glutathione.

Vitamin D3 can also suppress microglial overactivation and immunoexcitotoxicty. Microglial nitric oxide production triggers creation of a very powerful free radical called peroxynitrite, which is found in high levels with all neurodegenerative diseases.

Vitamin D3 deficiency is widespread in the United States especially among dark-skinned people and the elderly. Diet alone is a poor source of vitamin D3. Most people will need to supplement their diet during the winter months with between 5,000 – 10,000 I.U. per day.