A study examining the effect of vitamin D on gene expression found significant differences between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplements. Conclusions published in the journal Limits in immunologyshow that vitamin D3 may be more effective in boosting the immune system compared to vitamin D2.
Vitamin D usually comes in two main forms: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Previous studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplements are much more effective for raising vitamin D levels in human blood. However, it is unclear whether there are any functional differences for human health between the two types of vitamin D supplements.
To fill this knowledge gap, a new study examined data from a recently completed double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing the effects of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 in several hundred healthy women. A a previously published study reported the main findings of the trialconfirming that a 12-week intake of vitamin D3 was more effective for raising blood vitamin D levels.
A new study looked at the differences between the two forms of vitamin D in gene expression. Overall, the researchers found significant differences in gene expression between the vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 groups.
“Notably, after vitamin D3 intake, most changes in gene expression reflect decreased gene activity, many pathways encoding innate and adaptive immune systems that could potentially translate the immune system into a more tolerogenic status,” the researchers wrote in a new study. “Surprisingly, gene expression associated with type I and type II interferon activity, which is crucial for innate responses to bacterial and viral infections, differed after vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 supplementation, and only vitamin D3 had a stimulating effect.”
Colin Smith, lead author of the study, said that the reduction in type 1 interferon signals is associated with increased susceptibility to viral infections. Thus, he suggests that vitamin D3 may be more effective than vitamin D2 in boosting the immune response against viruses.
“We have shown that vitamin D3 seems to stimulate the type I interferon signaling system in the body – a key part of the immune system that provides the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses,” Smith said. “Thus, healthy vitamin D3 status can help prevent viruses and bacteria from taking root in the body.”
The study notes that these findings suggest that vitamin D supplementation is likely to have a beneficial effect on viral infection only if levels are elevated prior to any viral exposure, as vitamin D supplementation is unlikely to result in clinical benefit after as a viral infection occurs. Recent research on neutral effects vitamin D treatment for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 reinforce these findings.
The study also found that two forms of vitamin D had opposite effects on some gene expression pathways. In some people who took vitamin D2, circulating vitamin D levels were lower than in the placebo group after the 12-week trial. Researchers believe that vitamin D2 may have the potential to deplete or counteract some of the beneficial effects of vitamin D3.
“Because some pathways are regulated specifically by vitamin D3 or, in some cases, in opposite directions by vitamins D3 and D2, future research should examine whether vitamin D2 supplementation may counteract some of the benefits of vitamin D3 for human health,” the researchers write.
Co-author Susan Lanham-New is calling for urgent investigations into the functional differences between the two forms of vitamins to better figure out what’s going on. But soon she suggests that vitamin D3 should be the preferred form of vitamin D supplement for most people.
“Although we found that vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 did not have the same effect on gene activity in humans, the lack of effect we found when considering vitamin D2 means that more research is needed to find out the differences in effects,” he said. However, these results suggest that vitamin D3 should be the preferred form for fortified foods and supplements. ”
A new study was published in the journal Limits in immunology.
Source: University of Surrey
It has been found that one type of vitamin D boosts the immune system, another can interfere
Source link It has been found that one type of vitamin D boosts the immune system, another can interfere