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Vitamin D and the brain

Posted on: August 8, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


I love to see statements like this in review papers: “Clinical observations about vitamin D effects relate to alterations of mood and cognition, brain development, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, depression, schizophrenia, autisms, and others.”

Stumpf WE. Drugs in the brain–cellular imaging with receptor microscopic autoradiography. Review.  Prog Histochem Cytochem. 2012 Mar;47(1):1-26.

The author is a man who, beginning in 1980, argued that vitamin D’s effects went way beyond bone. He perfected a technique to radiolabel vitamin D, “3H-1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3,” and then give it to see where it goes in the body. As he said,

“Most notable discoveries were made during the 1980s with vitamin D in the brain together with over 50 target tissues that challenged the century-old doctrine of vitamin D’s main role as ‘the calcitropic (bone and calcium only) hormone’. The new data made it apparent that the main biological function of this multifunctional sunshine hormone rather is maintenance of life and adapting vital functions to the solar environment.”

He added,

“In some brain regions, nuclear labeling with vitamin D3 is equally strong or stronger than in peripheral organs. This supports our concept that systemic calcium regulation is not the predominant role of the sunshine hormone, but rather part of adaptive regulation of growth and repair, reproduction, digestion, defense and immune responses and other vital functions, all supported by vitamin D.”

Tragically, Professor Stumpf has been saying that vitamin D affects the body beyond bone health for forty years, especially the brain. As I have written before, Professor Stumpf is one of the central figures of the Vitamin D Era, a man who forty years ago saw what scientists are only seeing today.

1 Response to Vitamin D and the brain

  1. [email protected]

    Vitamin D is looking to be extremely important for the brain.
    No proof yet, but I expect lots of proof within a year
    So far we just have VERY LARGE associations
    – Cognitive decline is 19X more likely if < 10 ng of vitamin D
    – Alzheimer's Disease is 4X less likely if less likely if high vitamin D
    – Every single risk factor listed for Alzheimer's Disease is also a risk factor for low vitamin D levels
    – 'Senior moment" 25X more likely with low vitamin D
    – Alzheimer's patients are genetically 70 % more likely to be vitamin D in-efficient
    Some of the clinical trials underway are using enough vitamin D to be useful
    – Will Alzheimer's slowed with 100,000 IU vitamin D monthly?
    – Will Parkinson's slowed with 7,400 IU vitamin D daily?
    – Will Parkinson's slowed with 10,000 IU vitamin D daily?

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