Relevance of supplemental treatment with Vitamin D in malignancy

Prof. asoc. Dr Aurelian Udriștioiu
Universitatea Titu Maiorescu, București, România, Medicină de laborator

Abstract

Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin. It acts as a hormone and, unlike the rest of the essential micronutrients, endogenous synthesis is the largest supplier of vitamin D in the body. In small quantities and insufficient to meet the daily needs, vitamin D is also found in foods with fortified vitamin D. Physiologically, most of the body’s vitamin D content is derived from dehydro-cholesterol, by photosynthesis in the skin after UV irradiation, and thus, the body’s vitamin D levels are influenced by geographic locations, seasonal changes and skin pigmentation. Vitamin D is converted to the active hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25 (OH) 2D3) by two hydroxylation steps: 25-hydroxylation in the liver followed by 1-hydroxylation in the kidneys. The biological activities of 1,25 (OH) 2, and vitamin D-3 is mediated by the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a nuclear hormone receptor. The intestine is one of the tissues in the body that have the most abundant VDR expression, indicating that it is a major physiological target of vitamin D. It has long been established that vitamin D/VDR signalling regulates the duodenal transport of transcellular calcium. Recent studies have shown that intestinal epithelial VDR plays a key role in protecting the integrity of the mucosal barrier. However, little is known about the effect of vitamin D/VDR signalling on the immune components of the intestine, including innate immunity of the intestine. Through Phases I and II of clinical trials, the benefit effect of Vitamin D-3, after the administration in some malignant diseases, evidently modulates the antitumor immune response.

Keywords: Vitamin D, cancer, supplemental treatment

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