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Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor muscle function in adults aged 60+ -- ScienceDaily

The prevalence of muscle weakness was twice as high among older adults with vitamin D deficiency (40.4%) compared with vitamin D adequacy (21.6%). Similarly, impaired 'muscle performance' was 3 times higher in older adults with vitamin D deficiency (25.2%) compared with vitamin D adequacy (7.9%). Based on more complex statistical analysis, the study showed that vitamin D deficiency significantly increased the likelihood of impaired muscle strength and performance. The study confirmed the associated benefits of physical activity. Older adults partaking in regular moderate physical activity had significantly lower likelihood of poor muscle strength and physical performance.

Vitamin D study sheds light on immune system effects -- ScienceDaily

In healthy people, T cells play a crucial role in helping to fight infections. In people with autoimmune diseases, however, they can start to attack the body's own tissues. By studying cells from mice and people, the researchers found vitamin D caused dendritic cells to produce more of a molecule called CD31 on their surface and that this hindered the activation of T cells. The team observed how CD31 prevented the two cell types from making a stable contact -- an essential part of the activation process -- and the resulting immune reaction was far reduced. Researchers say the findings shed light on how vitamin D deficiency may regulate the immune system and influence susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.

Boosting the effects of vitamin D to tackle diabetes -- ScienceDaily

The underlying process has to do with transcription -- the way that genes are translated into proteins. Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells. "Activating the vitamin D receptor can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes to help cells survive under stressed conditions," says Michael Downes, a Salk senior staff scientist and co-corresponding author. "By using a screening system that we developed in the lab, we've been able to identify an important piece of that puzzle that allows for super-activation of the Vitamin D pathway."

Vitamin D blood test may one day speed bipolar diagnosis in kids: Finding a reliable blood marker could offer help to doctors and parents, study suggests -- ScienceDaily

The clinical part of the pilot study was conducted at Harding Hospital at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and included 13 children without mood disorders, 12 children with diagnosed bipolar disorder and 11 children with major depressive disorder. Ziouzenkova said it made sense to look at vitamin D binding protein because it potentially plays a role in brain inflammation. The researchers also looked at inflammatory markers in the blood, but found no significant correlations. Looking for the nutrient vitamin D in the blood, as opposed to the binding protein, appears to have low diagnostic power, she said. "We wanted to look at factors that could be involved in mood disorders on a cellular level and that could be easily found in the blood," Ziouzenkova said. To date, finding a reliable blood marker for bipolar diagnosis has been elusive, she said. Her lab used an intricate technique to evaluate blood plasma, in which they essentially used biological "bait" to fish for inflammatory factors. That helped them identify the vitamin D binding protein as a potential diagnostic target.