Vitamin D and its Receptors: Do you know how vitamin D works in your body?

Everyone knows that vitamin D plays a vital role in strengthening bones and teeth, but few recognize its important role in cell division, and specially immunity. Do you really know how it works at the cellular level?

• Vitamin D is activated in the liver and then in the kidney, allowing the regulation of calcium metabolism. But dietary vitamin D that is presented to the cells in the gut and its associated immune cells can be directly activated in the liver, bypassing the kidney.

• The cells of certain body tissues such as the skin, the heart, the prostate, the bones and especially the intestine and its immunity-associated tissue (GALT) express receptors in the cell nucleus called receptors of vitamin D (VDR). These receptors function as switches between the Vitamin and some parts of the DNA located in the cell nucleus.

• Vitamin D, through its VDRs, act in hormone-like fashion within the cell. Vitamin D acts like a molecular switch that influences the transcription and expression of a multitude of genes related to cell division and immunity.

• At the biochemical level, it has been described that the butyrate produced in the intestine increases the expression of cellular VDRs and its biding ability, enhancing exponentially the efficiency of vitamin D3 while combining their effects on immunity, gut barrier and gut microbiota.3

Take a look at recent published literature that shows the synergy of vitamin D and Butyrate

Download link to Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Colon Cancer Cells: The Vitamin D Receptor—Butyrate Connection

3. Gaschott T, Stein J. Short-chain fatty acids and colon cancer cells: The vitamin D Receptor—Butyrate connection. 2003:247-257.