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The “Sunshine Vitamin” Improves Gut Flora and Metabolic Syndrome

Vitamin D is essential for good health, growth, and strong bones. Unlike other vitamins, the main source of vitamin D is from our skin after exposure to sunlight. Inadequate sun exposure or poor UV-B ray absorption can lead to a deficiency. Foods that contain vitamin D include eggs, cheese, mushrooms and oily fish whereas cereals, fruit juice, milk and yogurt are often fortified with vitamin D. A mild lack of vitamin D may cause symptoms such as general aches and tiredness, while more severe deficits lead to serious problems including softening of the bones and muscle weakness. Diagnosis is usually though a blood test and supplements or injections are often administered.

In a recent report, Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with gut bacterial disruption, and its association with metabolic syndrome. A diet high in fats or carbohydrates can trigger metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. This affects over a quarter of the world’s population with symptoms including obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The data suggests that a vitamin D deficiency can imbalance gut flora and is necessary for metabolic syndrome to progress in mice. Vitamin D deficiency decreases the production of defensins that help maintain a healthy flora. This report suggests that vitamin D supplementation improves metabolic syndrome in mice. Future work will be to validate these results in humans and further studies on the health effects of Vitamin D supplementation are needed.

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Enzo Life Sciences provides a wide variety of products for your Immunology, Metabolism and Cancer Research needs. We offer an extensive portfolio including detection kits, substrates, active proteins, antibodies and inhibitors. Our 25(OH) Vitamin D ELISA kit is a rapid, highly sensitive and easy to use kit to quantify vitamin D in plasma and serum.

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