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Gene expression and vitamin D: What’s the link?

Posted on: March 19, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


Depending on the paper one reads, anywhere from 3% to 10% of the active human genome is directly or indirectly signaled by vitamin D. Some of these genes are well known, such as the tyrosine hydroxylase gene, which seems to have a role in depression, and the renin gene that has a role in hypertension. However, to my knowledge, no one has attempted to see which genes are more or less highly expressed in vitamin D deficiency in a representative sample on the population level.

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3 Responses to Gene expression and vitamin D: What’s the link?

  1. Rita and Misty

    It would be awesome if one day (lets say in the next 50 years) the majority of the world had 25(OH)D levels of 40-50 ng/ml.

    A goal to keep us in the Vitamin D Community busy…

  2. [email protected]

    Great blog post. So many people think the genome is a given, rather than a library that environmental factors like vitamin D status can influence the expression of. BTW, you should have used quotes in para. 5 around the phrase “vitamin D limits pathological immune responses…..” since it’s taken directly from Standahl’s article. A small point but an important one.

  3. Matt Rhodes

    This study tells one which genes turn off as the deficiency goes from bad to worse. Ideally it needs repeated with a range of vitamin D levels to see which genes turn off for a mild deficiency vs. an increasingly severe deficiency to allow an idea of what processes get shut down or turned on in what order as the levels decline. Possibly one could then come to conclusions about what levels are required to normalize blood pressure or cure an autoimmune disease like lupus as they are not necessarily the same levels. And then again one can just take enough D3 now to bring your levels up to the 50-60 ng/ml range and wait for the science to catch up!

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