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Keeper
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 3/11/2009 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I recently have read that vitamin D3 deficiency not only has been linked to the genesis of MS, but it also has shown effects in lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease and several other autoimmune diseases. For a brief summary, see: Medscape Today. Other sources suggest that people living in Northerly areas suffer from chronic vitamin D deficiency, with various authors recommending from 2000 IU to 4000 IU for maintaining healthy levels of circulating vitamin D. See American Society for Clinical Nutrition. It would seem that a test for serum levels of vitamin D would be a good idea and a supervised regime of vitamin D supplementation to achieve a level between 50 and 120 nanograms per liter in the blood should be discussed with your doctor. Impaired absorption may make getting this from oral supplements difficult.

FallColors
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/13/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Keeper!

Amen to 2000 IU!! I was feeling 20,000 years old last summer when my doc found out I was low. 2000 UI a day ever since, and last week my doc said my levels are normal. And I feel nearly normal. What a blessing in a little pill!
Diagnosed with rectal Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.


Keeper
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 3/16/2009 10:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Since this post is not generating a lot of interest, I want to add some links to show the way it might work. First, Vitamin D is known to promote the action of the immune response - Wikipedia. The lack of this vitamin has been shown to directly reduce the body's immune reaction by limiting the response of toll-like receptors to bacteria - The Dana Foundation. This would be a possible cause of the development of a weak TNF response to infection. An insufficient TNF response has been linked to the failure of the body's immune response to eliminate auto-immune antibodies, which are normally destroyed in the presence of enough TNF - Science Daily. There may be other possible causes of poor immune response, but the lack of adequate vitamin D is epidemic in northern latitudes during the winter and has been empirically demonstrated to be the cause of influenza outbreaks in the winter months - Science News. The influenza prevention bit alone is good reason to try vitamin D supplements, but the potential for treating auto-immune disease makes the supplement absolutely invaluable.

gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 3/17/2009 4:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Thanks for the info...lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still alive.lol gail


Bammer
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 381
   Posted 3/17/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Yesterday I had a chance to talk to my cousin who is a doctor who also has Crohn's. His first advise was to take Vitamin D and would not hesitate to recommend 2000 IU. My GI had already prescribed it for me as well.
55 yr. old F dx. CD 07/07
Was on prednisone for three months but no medication for next 11 months.
Started weekly methotrexate injections 09/22/08.
Sigmoidectomy scheduled for May 11/2009


catpower
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 3/17/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
My GI actually prescribed me D3 in pill form since it seems like my body cannot break down vitamin D on it's own. I've been on it for a few months, and so far I don't feel any better or worse from taking it. Thanks for the info though, it is interesting.
Dx with Crohn's Colitis; Meds: Pred and Imuran; female in late 20s.


jsk218
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
What about TNF blockers, then? Will extra vitamin D inhibit the meds from doing their thing?
Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in Jan 2007, though sick since mid 90’s. Currently on Humira and Protonix. Have had success with Entocort and Cipro; negative experience with Methotrexate.


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 3/17/2009 8:57 PM (GMT -7)   
The TNF blockers look to me like they would prevent cell death for the auto-immune antibodies. There are currently clinical trials under way that are using an old agent (BCG or Bacillus Calmette-Guerin???) that is known to elicit a strong TNF reaction to see if they can reproduce in people the cure for diabetes observed in mice. If that trial is successful, then it would be interesting to see if the same therapy works for Crohn's. As for the question about extra vitamin D interfering with TNF blockers, who knows? There is one article that suggests that vitamin D improves the effect of anti-TNF therapy - PubMed. This reflects the multi-faceted action of vitamin D. It enhances the production of "antimicrobial peptides" (which ones are not specified in the article) and it also regulates other aspects of the immune response. There is another article that cites the strong reduction of TNF production by Human peritoneal macrophages cultured in the presence of vitamin D3 - Cat.Inist. That would support the observation of of the supporting effect of vitamin D for anti-TNF therapy. It is odd to me that the immune response is weak in the absence of the vitamin and regulated in the presence of it also. You might expect a similar result in both cases. The immune system is a bit complex....

ozonehole
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 3/18/2009 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Here where I live (in Taiwan), vitamin D3 doesn't seem to be available as a stand-alone. It is sold in calcium capsules, and I went and bought some. I'm sure that it doesn't hurt me to take calcium, especially since I don't drink milk (because of lactose intolerance).

I'm wondering though - is there is any reason why I would need stand-alone D3, as opposed to taking it as part of a calcium capsule?

best regards,
Robert
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections


Becoming undone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 3/18/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
ME?!! Vit D deficiency?!? I get about 330 or so days of sun...That is one thing I do not have to worry about living here and being pale skinned...now skin cancer...very likely...I think it's up to 1 in 3 around here (if you're a lifelong zonnie).

Would like to see this study conducted in areas where sunshine is more prevalent...
"The earth laughs in flowers"


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 3/19/2009 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, the studies all talk about people living in northern areas - north of 40 or there about. One study actually said something about the angle of the sun - if it is less than (don't remember)? then almost no vitamin D is being produced. The requirements for vitamin D are supplied by stores created in the summer months and for people living in North America and Europe, there is a net deficiency in the winter months amounting to about 2000 units a day. This is detailed in the link in the top post - The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In fact, the end of the "Discussion" section of that article cites no elevation of serum D3 above recommended levels even after 20 weeks of supplements ranging from 5500 to 11000 units a day, so 2000 units is conservative. That is way more than you get in a calcium supplement.

Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 3/19/2009 10:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Forgot to say - vitamin D deficiency is probably not the only way to cause a weak immune response. Aspirin and stress pop into my head, but I am sure that there are lots of others. The following is my guess at how the immune process works both with and without adequate vitamin D: In a healthy body with lots of vitamin D, a gut infection would result in the production of antimicrobials and a triggering of the cells that produce antibodies (all processes promoted by vit D). If that does not eliminate the infection, the vitamin D becomes locally depleted (macrophages apparently change it into an ineffective form) and then the real process of inflammation kicks in: that's where the TNF levels go way up. Vitamin D stores are mobilized from more distant reservoirs and eventually the triggering infection is beaten down and the vitamin D levels rise locally again and the inflammation is controlled by the vitamin D. The high TNF level results in the elimination of antibodies that have auto-immune effects, before the TNF is suppressed by higher levels of vitamin D.
In a person without good vitamin D levels, the immune response is weak - the initial response depletes the local vitamin D before the antimicrobial peptides and antibodies are fully activated. The inflammation may knock the infection down, but the antibodies and antimicrobials are not up to the job of eliminating the bugs. There are no adequate stores of vitamin D, so inflammation is not brought under control and the infection rolls on. Continued infection and inflammation cause all the diarrhea and bleeding, ulcers and fistulas and the collection of other symptoms.

Now, it is possible that taking vitamin D may not help immediately, or at all. It may take quite a lot of vitamin D to replace the vitamin lost to the disease fighting process. That could take months. Oddly enough, getting more sun may not be a good idea - UV light hs been shown to depress the immune system and so the vitamin D created could just be keeping up with the sun damage for a while. And there is the problem of skin cancer (maybe due to sunbathing while vitamin D deficient??? - there's another question) - you don't need to add that to your problems.
Of course, if the immune flaw is not due to vitamin D deficiency, it will never cure the problem.

Post Edited (Keeper) : 3/19/2009 11:59:53 PM (GMT-6)


Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 3/19/2009 11:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Becoming Undone,
I know quite a few people in Arizona that have been found to have very low levels of Vit. D when tested. They were low enough that their docs put them on high doses to try to boost it up.

Becoming undone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 3/20/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
yeah...I know...trying to be cute shocked I have been check for D3, and I also don't wear as much sunblock as I should...scool
On the serious side, it has been hypothesized that "overuse" of sunblock may be a causative factor in this issue. We tried to "cure" one thing (skin cancer) and it led to a widespread vit d deficiency...the rule of unintended consequences...
"The earth laughs in flowers"

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