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Gene Expression Testing May Help Identify People Who Would Benefit From Vitamin D Supplements

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of certain chronic diseases and a weakening of the immune system. Supplements are usually prescribed to deal with the problem.  But a new Finnish study shows that expression of vitamin D-dependent genes in fat tissue and white blood cells after vitamin D supplementation doesn’t necessarily correlate with the vitamin’s concentrations in the blood. Only half of study participants who took vitamin D daily for five months showed expression of the genes. In other words, supplementation in these people accomplished nothing beneficial. The findings indicate the possibility of using gene expression tests to identify individuals who would benefit from vitamin D supplements.
Carsten Carlberg et al., "Primary Vitamin D Target Genes Allow a Categorization of Possible Benefits of Vitamin D3 Supplementation", PLoS ONE, August 13, 2013, © Carlberg et al.
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