According to a recent study, vitamin D was found to be an effective prevention and treatment option for liver diseases and cancers.
A group of researchers from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in the U.S., Natural Brain Center in India, and King Abdulaziz University and Qassim University in Saudi Arabia carried out a study on the possibility that vitamin D can be used to treat cancers and liver disorders.
The team reviewed the past studies regarding the link between vitamin D, liver diseases, and liver cancer as well as the other therapies available for liver treatments.
The result of the study shows that changes in gene expression and the receptors of vitamin D both play an important role in the development of long-term liver disorders, like liver fibrosis, hepatic necroinflammation, and chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Furthermore, the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was also found to be influenced by this vitamin.
Vitamin D receptors are present in all tissues of the body that regulates cell proliferation and immune function. A body lacking this vitamin is a marker of health problems, according to past studies. Reduction in the amount of vitamin D during a disease is possibly because of inflammation.
The team believes that healthcare experts should raise awareness of the side effects of vitamin D deficiency. There should be proper guidelines for sun exposure and supplementation of this vitamin.
Vitamin D contains anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties that can help prevent and treat liver diseases and cancer. Consuming fortifying foods can increase the intake of the vitamin and reduces the possible consequences of its deficiency.
More On Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Some of the health benefits of vitamin D are as follows:
- Supports the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system
- Helps maintain healthy teeth and bone
- Regulates insulin levels and aids diabetes management
- Influences the expression of genes involved in cancer development
- Supports respiratory and heart health
For children, the recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 international units (IU), 600 IU for individuals aged 14 to 70 years old and 800 IU for those older than 70. This was according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Adequate vitamin D can be produced by the body through sensible sun exposure on bare skin for five to 10 minutes two to three times a week.
Deficiency from the vitamin can occur as a result of darker skin color or the use of sunscreen – which lessens the body’s ability in absorbing ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun needed to make the vitamin. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include fatigue, impaired wound healing, muscle pain, hair loss, depressive mood, getting sick or infected more often, and painful bones and back.