Vitamin D In Autoimmune Diseases

Vitamin D deficiency is common in autoimmune diseases. But does that also mean that taking vitamin D can improve the disease? Because the administration of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases often has no effect. We explain what can be the reason for this and how to proceed in this case.

Vitamin D: Important in autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are chronic inflammatory diseases in the course of which the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells and organs – and no longer focuses exclusively on harmful bacteria, viruses, etc.

From the point of view of conventional medicine, there is unfortunately no chance of a cure for autoimmune diseases. However, holistic therapies bring relief in almost every case and often even bring the disease to a standstill. Vitamin D is an essential part of such naturopathic therapy if the vitamin D level is proven to be too low. Here’s how to treat autoimmune diseases naturally.

How vitamin D deficiency can promote autoimmune diseases

Vitamin D is closely related to numerous biological processes that regulate the immune system. Vitamin D receptors were found in a number of immune cells, e.g. B. monocytes, dendritic cells, and activated T cells, indicating that vitamin D plays a role in the development or prevention of autoimmune diseases. The anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D has also been known for a long time.

According to a detailed review from 2013, vitamin D deficiency can impair self-tolerance in people with a genetic predisposition and thus promote the development of autoimmune diseases. Self-tolerance is the ability of the human immune system to recognize the body’s own substances as such and to distinguish them from substances that are foreign to the body so that attacks on the body’s own tissue do not occur.

Vitamin D reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases

In a study published in the British Medical Journal BMJ in January 2022, using almost 26,000 subjects, it was shown that vitamin D can reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases by 22 percent.

Those test persons who had taken 2000 IU of vitamin D per day developed an autoimmune disease significantly less frequently over the course of the 5 study years than participants who had received a placebo preparation.

Why vitamin D sometimes doesn’t work

Vitamin D has been researched in the context of multiple sclerosis since the 1980s. The first studies were done with low doses of vitamin D, which showed no effect. Only in recent years have there been studies in which higher doses of 7,000 to 14,000 IU of vitamin D per day were administered, but mostly not in daily doses, e.g. B. 100,000 IU every 14 days or 20,000 IU every other day. But even then, there was often no success.

Scientists around preventive medicine Prof. Dr. In April 2021, Jörg Spitz published comprehensive information on vitamin D resistance, which may be one reason why taking conventional amounts of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases (and other diseases) often has no effect. Yes, according to Prof. Spitz, vitamin D resistance could also be a cause of autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D resistance

In the case of vitamin D resistance, the cells react only weakly to vitamin D, which e.g. could be due to a blockage of the so-called vitamin D receptor signaling pathway (infectious diseases are discussed as the cause of the blockage). Vitamin D receptors are inside the cells. When vitamin D binds to a receptor, it can turn on or off certain genes in the cells to trigger typical vitamin D effects, but resistance does not.

Vitamin D high-dose therapy

However, vitamin D resistance is reversible – with high doses of the vitamin, D. Acquired vitamin D resistance (which is not innate but only occurs over the course of life) is still considered a hypothesis, but Prof. Spitz already has promising experience in the field of multiple sclerosis, so that his recommendations are definitely listened to should be.

Prof. Spitz uses the so-called Coimbra protocol – a vitamin D intake scheme developed by the Brazilian neurologist Cicero G. Coimbra. The Coimbra Protocol also provides different vitamin D dosages for different autoimmune diseases. The following information is only intended as an initial overview. Discuss the best course of action for you with your doctor.

The Coimbra Protocol

The starting dose for the Coimbra protocol is:

  • 1000 IU per kilogram of body weight in multiple sclerosis
  • 300 – 500 IU per kilogram of body weight in rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism), systemic lupus, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
  • 300 IU per kilogram of body weight in Hashimoto’s, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic scleroderma
  • 150 IU per kilogram of body weight in other autoimmune diseases

So if you have an autoimmune disease or want to prevent one, get your vitamin D levels checked and take vitamin D if you are deficient.

Prevent side effects of vitamin D high-dose therapy

With high-dose therapy, it is always important to be closely monitored by the doctor in order to prevent possible side effects (e.g. hypercalcemia).

In hypercalcemia, vitamin D causes excess calcium to be absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. Therefore, the calcium level in the blood (serum) and urine is checked regularly. Of course, the patient should also pay attention to the typical symptoms of hypercalcemia (excessively high calcium levels). These include frequent urination when you are very thirsty, unusual tiredness, or even constipation.

A low-calcium diet is important in the Coimbra Protocol to avoid calcium excess.

Warnings online about the Coimbra Protocol are based on individual case reports dealing with the hypercalcemia mentioned, which can be prevented with the measures mentioned. With warnings of this kind, the advantages of vitamin D high-dose therapy are often ignored, as are the severe side effects of the usual therapies.

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