University of California San Diego researchers and collaborators recently demonstrated in older men that the makeup of a person’s gut microbiome is linked to their levels of active vitamin D, a hormone important for bone health and immunity.
“We were surprised to find that microbiome diversity the variety of bacteria types in a person’s gut was closely associated with active Vitamin D, but not the precursor form,” said the senior author Deborah Kado. He added, “Greater gut microbiome diversity is thought to be associated with better health in general.” He also added, “Measures of Vitamin D formation and breakdown may be better indicators of underlying health issues, and who might best respond to vitamin D supplementation.”
Kado continued, “It seems like it doesn’t matter how much Vitamin D you get through sunlight or supplementation, nor how much your body can store”. “It matters how well your body can metabolize that into active Vitamin D, and maybe that’s what clinical trials need to measure to get a more accurate picture of the Vitamin’s role in health.” Thomas said, “We often find in medicine that more is not necessarily better”. “So in this case, maybe it’s not how much Vitamin D you supplement with, but how you encourage your body to use it.”