Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vitamin D and Your Genes

I've written several posts regarding the importance of getting enough vitamin D, but a recent article discussing the results of a new study warrant bringing up the D topic yet again.

This from Medical News Today:

In a report published online in Genome Research, scientists have mapped the molecular interactions of the vitamin D receptor genome-wide, finding novel connections of vitamin D with genes related to autoimmune disease and cancer....

...Employing a technique called ChIP-seq, Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan, of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University, and colleagues isolated fragments of genomic DNA bound to the VDR before and after treatment of cells with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, and then sequenced the DNA fragments. By mapping the sequences back to the genome, they identified more than 2,700 sites of VDR binding, a number that Ramagopalan noted "shows just how important vitamin D is to humans, and the wide variety of biological pathways that vitamin D plays a role in."

What an interesting concept - that inadequate vitamin D can actually affect your genetic material. 

I wonder how much vitamin D I absorbed while hanging my right arm out of the car window as John and I meandered around the coast over the past few days....

You can read more about vitamin D in a National Institutes of Health fact sheet here, and on Doc Gurley's blog here and here

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