Vitamin D

This vitamin is turning out to be very important and recent data suggest that higher blood levels are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Dr. Ralph Moss on his blog notes how the media have, not so surprisingly, made a mess of the study results. Some even imply that the vitamin is worthless. See his website at

http://www.cancerdecisions.com/120207.html

A study for people living with HIV would be in order, as reflected in the abstract below. However, Bush and Congress have flat-funded the NIH and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is doing less and less in terms of useful clinical trials. Chances of success through the NIH of getting a grant approved have plunged to the lowest level in years. Bush seems mostly just interested in getting more tax money into the hands of the pharmaceutical industry!

Nutr Rev. 2006 May;64(5 Pt 1):226-33.

A potential role for vitamin D on HIV infection?

Villamor E.

Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. evillamo@hsph.harvard.edu

Despite advances in the knowledge of vitamin D’s potent immunomodulatory activity, its role on HIV disease progression is unknown. Decreased concentrations of 1alpha,25-hydroxyvitamin D3, or 1,25(OH)2D, the active form of vitamin D, have been reported among HIV-infected people and attributed to defects in renal hydroxylation and increased utilization. A few studies also described low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, 25(OH)D, the vitamin obtained from solar synthesis and diet. An inverse association between 1,25(OH)2D concentrations and mortality has been reported from a small cohort of HIV-infected adults, and some cross-sectional studies have indicated positive correlations between 1,25(OH)2D and CD4+ cell counts. Additional observational studies are needed to confirm the associations between vitamin D status and HIV disease progression. These investigations would provide useful insights on the potential role of vitamin D supplementation to HIV-infected persons and the planning of intervention trials.

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