Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

Research shows that vitamin D may help prevent and treat prostate 
cancer (1,2) and diabetes (3) and treat so-called autoimmune 
diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (4), Scleroderma (4) , lupus 
(4) and graft rejection (4). 

Recommended doses of Vitamin D strengthen bones. Recent research 
shows that vitamin D also suppresses a person's overactive immunity 
by stopping the chemicals that call out human helper T cells from 
starting a reaction that attack a person's own body. 

Animals given the active form of vitamin D accept skin grafts from 
other animals and rheumatoid arthritics have less osteoporosis and 
redness and swelling in joints (4). Other recent studies show that 
lack of 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D increases a person's chances of 
suffering prostate cancer (2). Since large does of vitamin D weaken
bones and cause kidney stones, the drug companies are working 
feverishly to develop safer derivatives of vitamin D.

1) Results of the Physicians Study presented at the American 
Association for Cancer Research in San Francisco April 4, 2000. 

2) AM Barreto, GG Schwartz, R Woodruff, SC Cramer. 5-hydroxyvitamin 
D-3, the prohormone of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-3, inhibits the 
proliferation of primary prostatic epithelial cells.Cancer 
Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2000, Vol 9, Iss 3, 
pp 265-270. these findings support a potential role for vitamin D 
in the chemoprevention of prostate cancer. 

3) J Lemire. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D-3 - a hormone with 
immunomodulatory properties. Zeitschrift Fur Rheumatologie, 2000, 
Vol 59, Suppl. 1, pp 24-27.Address: Lemire J, Univ Calif San Diego, 
Dept Pediat, Div Pediat Nephrol, 9500 Gilman Dr 0831, La Jolla,
CA 92093 USA. 

4) G Hein, P Oelzner. Vitamin D metabolites in rheumatoid arthritis: 
Results hypotheses - Consequences. Zeitschrift Fur Rheumatologie, 
2000, Vol 59, Suppl. 1, pp 28-32.Address: Hein G, Klin Innere Med 4, 
Funkt Bereich Rheumatol Osteol, D-07747 Jena, GERMANY. The active 
vitamin D metabolite, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin DJ [1,25-(OH)(2)D-3],
exerts immunosuppressive activity. At a cellular and molecular 
level, the hormone preferentially targets helper T cell activity 
(Th1) by inhibiting the secretion of both IL-2 and IFN-gamma by 
Th1 and by suppressing the secretion pro-Th1 cytokine IL-12 by 
antigen-presenting cells. The active metabolite further inhibits 
class II antigen expression and enhances suppressor;activity, 
In animal models of autoimmunity, 1,25-(OH)(2)D-3 prevents the 
development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, reduces 
the incidence of diabetes, and attenuates murine lupus. The hormone 
also prolongs graft survival in animal models of transplantation. 

Checked 5/3/07