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Vitamin D Regulates Calcium in the Intestine Differently than Previously Thought

by Iswarya on December 2, 2020 at 9:53 AM
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Vitamin D Regulates Calcium in the Intestine Differently than Previously Thought

Vitamin D regulates calcium in a part of the intestine that previously was thought not to have played a key role. The findings have essential implications on how bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, may disturb calcium regulation.

In a healthy person, the body consumes calcium to maintain strong bones and perform other vital functions like helping muscles move, and nerves carry information between the brain and body parts. Vitamin D is essential for this calcium absorption from the intestine and the function of the intestine.

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The study, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, highlights the importance of the intestine's distal segments - including the colon - in vitamin D regulation of calcium and bone calcification. This regulation was previously thought to only occur in the proximal intestine, the first section of the intestine immediately beyond the stomach.

Researchers also learned that the transporter of manganese, an essential element that plays a role in many cellular processes, was one of the genes most induced by vitamin D in both the proximal and distal intestine.
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The study's lead author, Sylvia Christakos, says these findings suggest that vitamin D plays other roles as well. "The findings suggest that vitamin D have a role not only in calcium absorption but also in the cellular regulation of other necessary ions and in the function of intestinal stem cells," she said.

This research could lead to new strategies that can compensate for calcium malabsorption and improve intestinal calcium uptake efficacy to reduce bone loss due to bariatric surgery, small bowel resection, or reduced calcium absorption after menopause or due to aging.



Source: Medindia
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