DNA Digest: Vitamin D
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DNA Digest: Vitamin D

Welcome to the sunny side of nutrition! Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient for overall health, and our genes can impact our ability to absorb and utilise it properly. In this blog, we'll explore the basics of vitamin D, the VDR gene, and how we can make sure we're getting enough. So, let's soak up the knowledge!

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It also supports immune function, brain health, and may even reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.

What is the VDR gene?

The VDR gene produces a protein called the vitamin D receptor, which plays a key role in how the body uses vitamin D. Variations in this gene can impact how efficiently the body absorbs and utilises vitamin D.

Why is the VDR gene important?

Studies have found that certain variations in the VDR gene may impact an individual's risk of developing certain conditions, such as osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, and certain cancers. Additionally, individuals with certain variations may require higher levels of vitamin D to maintain optimal vitamin D status.

How much vitamin D do we need?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D varies by age and sex. For adults, the recommended intake is 600-800 IU per day. However, some individuals may require more based on their individual needs and genetic factors.

What are some sources of vitamin D?

Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as fortified dairy products and cereals. Additionally, the body can produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include fatigue, muscle weakness, and bone pain. In severe cases, it can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.

What can impact our vitamin D status?

In addition to genetic factors, lifestyle factors can also impact our vitamin D status. Individuals who live in areas with limited sunlight, use sunscreen regularly, or have darker skin may be at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.


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  2. Carlberg C, Haq A. The concept of the personal vitamin D response index. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2018;175:12-17. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.09.013
  3. Chun RF, Liu PT, Modlin RL, Adams JS, Hewison M. Impact of vitamin D on immune function: lessons learned from genome-wide analysis. Front Physiol. 2014;5:151. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00151
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