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By: Dr David Rutolo – InMed Technologies
Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin that has acquired a lot of attention recently. This is due to extensive research into its broad range of activity and importance of maintaining health, including areas of immunity, inflammation, hypertension, infection, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and even mortality, as well as musculoskeletal conditions.1 The concern is that there is wide spread deficiency of Vitamin D3 that can lead to many of these health problems. There are relatively few foods that contain vitamin D and even with fortified foods, there may be inadequate intake.2
Vitamin D3, unlike other vitamins, can be made in the body by the action of sunlight on a cholesterol derivative in the skin, 7-dehydrocholesterol.3 However, even in parts of the world that have sufficient sunlight throughout the year, many people, concerned about UV radiation and skin cancer, avoid exposure to sunlight or use sunscreens.4 Also, aging decreases the concentration of 7-dehydrocholesterol. A 70 year old has 75% less than a young adult, which results in low D levels.5
Deficiencies of vitamin D can result from poor dietary intake, increased requirement, inability to convert to the active form and limited exposure to sunlight. Also, impaired absorption due to a variety of dietary and digestive problems contributes to deficiency.6 People with inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or other conditions causing fat malabsorption may require vitamin D supplementation.7 Absorption of vitamin D, as a fat soluble nutrient, is closely related to the ability to digest fat. The normal process is through the emulsification of fat with bile acids and pancreatic enzymes, creating small particles called micelles. With an impaired digestion system, this process can be impeded.
A method of producing micelles externally for fat soluble vitamins to enhance their uptake has been previously described.8 The uptake of small particles within the intestine increases with decreasing particle size.9 Studies have shown that particles in the 100 nm (0.1 micron) are taken up effectively by the intestinal mucosa, while only 10% of the particles above 500 nm (0.5 micron) were taken up.10 There are current efforts to create micelle delivery systems using oral sprays. The particle sizes range from 50-200 nm (0.05-0.2 micron). By way of reference, a red blood cell is about 8 microns, or about 45 times larger. The oral spray and small particle size bypasses digestive tract issues. It also overcomes the aversion to taking pills.11


References
1. Chowdhury, R, et al, Vitamin D and risk of cause specific death, Brit Med J, 2014; 348:g 1903 doi.
2. Holick, M F and Chen, T C, Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences 1’2’3’4’, Am J Clin Nutr, April 2008, vol 87, no. 4, 1085-10865.
3. Holick, M F, Vitamin D deficiency N. Engl J Med, 2007; 357: 266-81.
4. Looker, A C, et al, Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status on the US polulation: 1988-1994 compared with 2000-2004, Am J Clin Nutr, 2008 Dec; 88(6): 1519-27.
5. Holick, M F, Matsuoka, L Y, Wortsman, J, Age, vitamin D, and solar ultraviolet, Lancet, 1989; 2(8671): 1104-5.
6 Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D, Washington, D.C. National Academy Press, 2010.
7. Hollick, Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed., Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2006.
8. Rutolo, D A, Nutritional Delivery Systems II, Micellizaion and Fat Soluble Nutrients, Intl Clin Nutr Rev, Vol. 9. No. 4, 1989, 206-212.
9. Florence, A T, and Hussin, N, Transcytosis of nanoparticle and dendrimer delivery systems: evolving vistas, Adv Drug Delivery Rev, 2001, Oct 1; Suppl 1:S69-89.
10. Francis, M F, Cristea, M, and Winnick, F M, Polymeric micelles for oral drug delivery: Why and how, Pure Appl Chem, Vol 76, No. 7-8, 1321-1335, 2004.
11. Harris Interactive, Inc., Pill-Swallowing Problems in America: A National Survey of Adults, for Schwarz Pharma, New York, N.Y., 2003, pp. 1-39.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.