Vitamin D and Mature Behavior in Young Cells

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Vitamin D – Promoter of Mature Behavior in Young Cells

One of the most important functions of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 throughout the body is its ability to force young cells to “grow up,” called cellular differentiation. Because nature has decided that a cell can either reproduce itself or mature into its full function, all young cells face a choice: reproduce or go to work. Activated vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) forces a cell to choose maturity and function instead of immaturity and continued replication. This tutelage by vitamin D ensures that there are enough working cells to keep any organ or tissue healthy.

Vitamin D keeps cells healthy and in a working state, allowing them to keep functioning at a high level and doing their designated job. The results of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study that was published recently have shown that routine daily consumption of about 1500 IU of vitamin D enhances the ability to maintain digestive tract, and particularly colon, health.20 These results also predict that routine daily consumption of only 400 IU of vitamin D doesn’t have the same effect and likely will not support a healthy digestive tract, confirming the results of earlier research and results obtained again in the Women’s Health Initiative Study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.21,22

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Vitamin D – Defender of Self-Recognition

20. Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Rimm EB, Hollis BW, Fuchs CS, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and cancer incidence and mortality in men. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:451-459.
21. Grau MV, Baron JA, Sandler RS, Haile RW, Beach ML, Church TR, Heber D. Vitamin D, calcium supplementation, and colorectal adenomas: Results of a randomized trial. J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95:1765-1771.
22. Wactawski-Wende J, Kotchen JM, Anderson GL, Assaf AR, Brunner RL, O’Sullivan MJ, Margolis KL, Ockene JK, Phillips L, Pottern L, Prentice RL, Robbins J, Rohan TE, Sarto GE, Sharma S, Stefanick ML, Van Horn L, Wallace RB, Whitlock E, Bassford T, Beresford SA, Black HR, Bonds DE, Brzyski RG, Caan B, Chlebowski RT, Cochrane B, Garland C, Gass M, Hays J, Heiss G, Hendrix SL, Howard BV, Hsia J, Hubbell FA, Jackson RD, Johnson KC, Judd H, Kooperberg CL, Kuller LH, LaCroix AZ, Lane DS, Langer RD, Lasser NL, Lewis CE, Limacher MC, Manson JE; Women’s Health Initiative Investigators. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med 2006;354:684-696.

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