March 06, 2012
How Vitamin D Boosts Amyloid Beta Removal From Brain

If this works as claimed then better to get the vitamin D decades before enough toxic junk proteins accumulate enough to cause clinical symptoms of brain damage. Vitamin D boosts removal of a protein that is the main component of Alzheimer's plaques.

A team of academic researchers has identified the intracellular mechanisms regulated by vitamin D3 that may help the body clear the brain of amyloid beta, the main component of plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Published in the March 6 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the early findings show that vitamin D3 may activate key genes and cellular signaling networks to help stimulate the immune system to clear the amyloid-beta protein.

Previous laboratory work by the team demonstrated that specific types of immune cells in Alzheimer's patients may respond to therapy with vitamin D3 and curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric spice, by stimulating the innate immune system to clear amyloid beta. But the researchers didn't know how it worked.

"This new study helped clarify the key mechanisms involved, which will help us better understand the usefulness of vitamin D3 and curcumin as possible therapies for Alzheimer's disease," said study author Dr. Milan Fiala, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

If you need a technical reason to take vitamin D here it is:

Researchers found that in both Type I and Type II macrophages, the added 1a,25–dihydroxyvitamin D3 played a key role in opening a specific chloride channel called "chloride channel 3 (CLC3)," which is important in supporting the uptake of amyloid beta through the process known as phagocytosis. Curcuminoids activated this chloride channel only in Type I macrophages.

The scientists also found that 1a,25–dihydroxyvitamin D3 strongly helped trigger the genetic transcription of the chloride channel and the receptor for 1a,25–dihydroxyvitamin D3 in Type II macrophages. Transcription is the first step leading to gene expression.

What I wonder: does an aging immune system contribute to the development of Alzheimer's Disease and other diseases that are the result of accumulation of damaging compounds in the body? Once we can rejuvenate the immune system will the incidence of many diseases go down just because more trash will get taken out?

Immune system rejuvenation could cut death from flu and pneumonia in the aged. Also, the potential to cut the incidence of cancer with better immune systems is very real. Rare people have exceptional immune systems for fighting cancer and aged immune systems with shorter telomeres are associated with higher cancer risk.

The immune system, so accessible in the blood, will be easier to rejuvenate than organs. So the immune system might not be the first part of your body you might think you want to rejuvenate. But ease of access and potential for multiple benefits from rejuvenation puts the immune system on my short list of body systems I most want to rejuvenate.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2012 March 06 10:03 PM  Brain Aging

Mike Peterson said at March 7, 2012 10:39 AM:

If vitamin D is the answer then there should be no (or significantly less) Alzheimer patients in the south, particularly in workers who are outside in the sun all day long.

Teresa in Fort Worth, TX said at March 7, 2012 11:29 AM:

People with Celiac Disease have a MUCH higher incidence of Alzheimer's - and Vitamin D deficiency - than the general population; once they eliminate gluten from their diet, their digestive system is able to absorb all of the nutrients that it wasn't able to before. It's probable that their immune systems are significantly compromised as a result of their body trying to fight gluten's effects.

When our daughter was diagnosed with CD in 2008, we started on a GF diet (as simple as eliminating wheat, barley, and rye from your diet), and ALL of us - even the ones who didn't test positive for CD - saw a significant improvement in our overall health. Her digestive tract was back to "normal" within a year of eating GF; it's something that she will have to stay on the rest of her life. (She also has Down syndrome, and their incidence of Alzheimer's is off the charts)

A lot of Alzheimer's research is done in tandem with DS research (and people with DS have a 1-in-8 chance of developing Celiac Disease).

Teresa in Fort Worth, TX said at March 7, 2012 11:36 AM:

(I hit "send" too early)

I've been wondering if our "high grain" diet - pushed by the USDA - doesn't have something to do with the rise in Alzheimer's. Obviously, as the population ages, you are more likely to see more cases of AD, but the combination of massively increasing the amount of wheat in the average American's diet while drastically reducing the amount of fat in the same diet has probably led to a lot more health problems than we are aware of. And the gluten "content" in wheat was increased (through hybridization) back in the mid-20th century - I'm guessing that might have wreaked havoc with our health as well....

NoGlutenEver said at March 7, 2012 3:33 PM:

I've never published research showing an increased prevalence of AZ in celiacs. This 1997 study suggests there is not.

I'm still a big fan of the gluten diet and of keeping an eye on vit d levels.

NOGlutenEver said at March 7, 2012 3:37 PM:

I've never seen any published research showing an increased prevalence of AZ in celiacs. This 1997 study suggests there is not.

I'm still a big fan of the gluten diet and of keeping an eye on vit d levels.

PacRim Jim said at March 7, 2012 7:09 PM:

Since there seems to be growing interest in rejuvenation and life extension, why doesn't the U.S. launch a Manhattan Project-type program?
That's where our tax money should be going. Talk about return on investment.

Jewel in WV said at March 8, 2012 12:51 PM:

Researching the cause of my Vitamin D deficiency and reasons why levels do not improve after two regimens of prescribed vitamin D3. If having digestive disorders such as diverticulitis, celiac, et cetera, and Vitamin D cannot be absorbed, then osteoporosis is classified as secondary diagnosis? So, if not ingested, how can the body acquire adequate daily dose other than via sun which, by the way, my dermatologist advised to minimize after performing Mohs surgery. I've been an advocate of healthy, holistic lifestyle, and eat whole grain high fiber, low fat diet. So, I remain confused as to how treating osteoporosis with bone-building medication (Reclast infusion) will help when what I really need is to know how to fix the digestive tract. Any help?

Peter said at March 8, 2012 2:59 PM:

Prescription vitamin D is D2, not D3. D2 is the inactive form of D3 and needs to be converted. Why the medical establishment would use D2 is beyond me. D3 is available without a prescription at a very low cost.

Man and van London said at March 12, 2012 5:54 AM:

You're so cool! I don't suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. really thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!
Man And Van London

Heidi said at March 19, 2012 4:14 PM:

Randall, can you give please me the complete citation of the article in the March 6th issue of the journal?

bamboo said at March 21, 2012 2:31 PM:

Heidi does this help?

curious.sle said at March 23, 2012 12:23 PM:

@Mike Peterson said at March 7, 2012 10:39 AM:
Mike, after aprox. the age of 40 the skin is unable to produce Vitamin D3...

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