The vitamin D is one of the most essential nutrients for life of people, and this is constantly certified by new scientific works. On this occasion, a new study led by the University of Eastern Finland highlights the benefits of optimal levels of this vitamin to combat the infections.
Specifically, workers in this study exposed human blood immune cells to molecules of infectious bacterial and fungal pathogens. Said cells were previously treated with vitamin D, and also after and during the stimuli with the pathogens.
In this way, the researchers observed that vitamin D has the capacity to regulate cellular transcriptomic responses to immune challenges in all experiments.
Professor Carsten Carlberg, principal investigator of this study, explains that “this suggests that when it comes to fighting infections, it is clearly better to take vitamin D supplements preventively, rather than start taking it when you are already infected ».
Vitamin D, vital for the immune system
In this sense, it is necessary to remember that vitamin D plays a key role in supporting the proper functioning of the immune system. Thus, the deficiency of this nutrient has been related to an increase in the complications of infectious diseases.
Based on this, this research team began the study with the aim of knowing if it is necessary to have a sufficient level of this vitamin before, during or after an infection.
As reported by 'MedicalXpress', the researchers stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells with either of two molecules commonly used to test the immune response.
On the one hand, lipopolysaccharides, which are found in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and on the other hand, beta-glucan, which is found in the cell wall of the fungus Candida.albicans. In addition, these cells were biologically treated with vitamin D3, 1,25(OH)2D3.
Carrying out the study
In a first study model, cells were exposed to immune challenge for 24 hours and subsequently to vitamin D for another 24 hours. Thus, a situation was imitated in which an individual with low levels of this vitamin is infected and undergoes a treatment to increase vitamin D.
On the other hand, in a second model, the researchers reversed the order. That is, cells were first exposed to vitamin D and subsequently to immune challenge. In this way, the aim was to imitate a situation of infection in a person with high levels of vitamin D.
In addition, a third model was also used in which an immune challenge and vitamin D were applied to the cells simultaneously.
Once the study has been completed, which has been published in the journal 'Frontiers in Immunology
', the researchers claim that supplementation with vitamin D3 helps improve vitamin D levels in individuals, causing better transcription factor signaling of this vitamin through its target genes.
Finally, based on their results, the researchers determine that vitamin D3 supplementation can significantly help prevent infectious diseases or reduce their consequences.