Low vitamin D levels and bone disease are well-known consequences of "cholestatic" liver illness, which reduces bile production or flow. Studies have recently verified inadequate vitamin D levels in noncholestatic liver disease. The liver makes a protein called cytochrome P450 that helps our bodies metabolize drugs and other substances taken into our bodies. Vitamin D is required for healthy function of the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. People with chronic liver disease may require higher doses of vitamin D to achieve optimal levels.
Vitamin D has many health benefits. It regulates the amount of calcium in your blood, maintains the structural integrity of your bones, and promotes the absorption of calcium by your intestines. The sun's ultraviolet B rays are converted by your skin into vitamin D. Older adults, people with dark skin, and those living at high altitudes may need more sunlight exposure to make adequate amounts of vitamin D. Dietary sources of vitamin D include fish eggs, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines; dairy products; and certain mushrooms. Milk contains some vitamin D but only if it comes from animals who've been fed vitamin D supplements.
The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends that everyone over age 1 take 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D daily.
According to recent research, vitamin D insufficiency is common in all cirrhotic individuals. According to the findings of the current investigation, vitamin D insufficiency is more common and severe in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis than in individuals with primary biliary cirrhosis. These results suggest that vitamin D deficiency may be an important factor in the development of cirrhosis.
Individuals with impaired liver function may require vitamin D injections because they are unable to absorb dietary vitamin D. Because some chemicals inhibit your body from correctly absorbing vitamin D, their absence encourages proper vitamin D absorption. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and prescription medications such as paracetamol (PCM), cyclosporine, and azathioprine.
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight exposure on skin. However, for individuals who cannot be in the sun for long periods or have skin problems such as eczema, vitamin D supplements may be needed to meet requirements.
Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining strong bones by regulating calcium metabolism. It also promotes healthy teeth and muscles over bone marrow where blood cells are made. Vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis by promoting bone formation and preventing bone loss. It also reduces your risk of fractures due to its role in muscle strength and balance.
People differ in how much vitamin D they require. Your health care professional will take into account your age, gender, weight, amount of time you spend indoors, whether you take medications that affect vitamin D absorption, and other factors when determining your dose. You may require a regular dose daily, weekly, monthly, or even less often depending on your needs.
Improvements in total cholesterol and triglycerides were more significant in patients who were vitamin D deficient at the start. Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation seemed to reduce blood total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels but not HDL cholesterol levels. Therefore, it may be prudent to supplement with vitamin D if your doctor prescribes this medication.
According to recent research, low vitamin D levels are common in Graves' disease patients. Kivity et al. found that vitamin D insufficiency defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin (OH) D 10 ng/mL was more common in 22 Graves' disease patients than in 98 healthy controls (64 percent vs. 28 percent). The authors also observed that the rate of bone loss was higher in the group with Graves' disease compared with the control group.
The study's findings were published in 2011 in the journal Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Why is this important for Graves' disease patients to know? Vitamin D plays a role in calcium metabolism and can affect the activity of thyroid cells. Therefore, having low levels of vitamin D may put you at risk for developing Graves' disease!
You should take care of your vitamin D level. Your doctor may want you to supplement your diet with vitamin D or use artificial tanning beds to help raise your level. Also, be sure to avoid products that contain vitamin D3 because they are not absorbed properly by your body. You should be taking about 2000 IU per day if you are a male or female over age 50 without any signs of osteoporosis.
If you have Graves' disease, it is important to keep your vitamin D level up so you do not develop symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Furthermore, previous research has shown that vitamin D particularly decreases the expression of CYP7A1, which affects bile acid production (11). Vitamin D has also been shown to upregulate CYP3A4, an enzyme involved in bile acid detoxification (16-18). (19). Finally, studies have suggested that vitamin D can enhance bile salt-dependent lipase activity, which is important for lipid digestion (20). Together, these findings suggest that vitamin D may play a role in bile formation and secretion. However, more research is needed to confirm this relationship.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the development of several autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis [49, 69, 74, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85]. (Figure 2).
In addition to its role in calcium metabolism, vitamin D plays a key role in immune system function. It promotes differentiation of naive T cells into different effector cell types, inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by macrophages and antigen-presenting cells, and regulates the activity of natural killer cells.
Vitamin D receptors have been found on nearly all nucleated human cells. They are located on the surface of immune cells (such as T cells and B cells) and in certain organs (such as the pancreas and small intestine) that are involved with immune response regulation. The presence of these receptors suggests that vitamin D may play a role in regulating the immune system. Studies have shown that people who suffer from autoimmune disorders are more likely to be vitamin D deficient than those without such diseases. This observation supports the hypothesis that a poor diet low in vitamin D might cause individuals to develop autoimmunity.
For example, research conducted at Harvard Medical School showed that patients with RA were more likely to be vitamin D deficient than healthy controls.
Can drugs create a lack of vitamin D?