Should I take Vitamin D supplements?

In their recent article, 1α25(OH)2-Vitamin D3 increases dysferlin expression in vitro and in a human clinical trial, Dr. Eduard Gallardo and his colleagues report that vitamin D3 has the ability to affect the production of the dysferlin protein.  This study was done on individuals that do not have a dysferlinopathy, but who have only one (of two) normal copy of the dysferlin gene.   Generally, a person with only one (of two) normal dysferlin gene makes approximately half the amount of dysferlin made by a person with two normal dysferlin genes.  In this study, when the researchers gave vitamin D3 to individuals with only one normal dysferlin gene, their expression of dysferlin increased.  Based on this data, the authors suggest that this increase in dysferlin could be beneficial to those individuals whose muscle disease is caused by mutations in the dysferlin gene, but who still make a small amount of dysferlin protein.  However, the increase in dysferlin was only evaluated in the blood, not the muscle, so it remains to be confirmed whether the increase in dysferlin can also occur in the muscle. While this information is interesting, a lot more research is needed before determining whether vitamin D3 supplementation would be beneficial in treating dysferlinopathy (LGMD2B/Miyoshi).


Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is found in some foods like fish and fortified dairy products, and is also made by the body in response to exposure to sunlight.  Many people have a deficiency of Vitamin D without even knowing it.  Vitamin D deficiency can cause a bone disease called rickets in children, and can cause susceptibility to infectious diseases and cancer in adults. Vitamin D deficiency can be treated by vitamin supplementation, and also by an increase in casual skin exposure to the sunlight without sunscreen (while being careful not to get sunburned).   While, Vitamin D deficiency can be harmful, taking too much Vitamin D is toxic.  DO NOT start taking vitamin D supplements or change your vitamin D supplementation regimen without first talking with your doctor. 


Disclaimer:  The information contained in this communication is not intended to replace, and should not be interpreted or relied upon as, professional advice, whether medical or otherwise.  Please consult your health care professional for advice concerning the matter discussed herein.