Vitamin D regulates calcium in intestine differently than previously thought

December 01, 2020

A Rutgers study has discovered that vitamin D regulates calcium in a section of the intestine that previously was thought not to have played a key role. The findings have important implications on how bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, may disrupt calcium regulation.

In a healthy person, the body absorbs calcium to maintain strong bones and perform other important functions like helping muscles move and nerves carry messages between the brain and body parts. Vitamin D is critical for this calcium absorption from the intestine and for the function of the intestine.

The study, published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, highlights the importance of the distal segments of the intestine - including the colon - in vitamin D regulation of calcium and bone calcification. Previously, this regulation was thought to only occur in the proximal intestine, the first section of the intestine immediately beyond the stomach.

From the study, researchers also learned that a transporter of manganese -- an essential element that plays a role in many cellular processes -- was one of the genes most induced by vitamin D in both the proximal and distal intestine.

The study's lead author, Sylvia Christakos, a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, says these findings suggest that vitamin D plays other roles as well. "The findings suggest that vitamin D may have a role not only in calcium absorption, but also in the cellular regulation of other essential ions and in the function of intestinal stem cells," she said.

This research may lead to new strategies that can compensate for calcium malabsorption and increase the efficacy of intestinal calcium uptake to minimize bone loss due to bariatric surgery, small bowel resection or reduced calcium absorption after menopause or due to aging.
-end-
Co-authors include Michael Verzi, Department of Genetics, Rutgers University; Noah Shroyer, Baylor College of Medicine; and James Fleet, Purdue University.

Rutgers University

Related Bariatric Surgery Articles from Brightsurf:

Statement on metabolic and bariatric surgery during COVID-19 pandemic
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the leading organization of bariatric surgeons and integrated health professionals in the nation, declared metabolic and bariatric surgery 'medically necessary and the best treatment for those with the life-threatening and life-limiting disease of severe obesity' and called for the safe and rapid resumption of procedures, which have been largely postponed along with other surgeries deemed elective amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examining association between weight loss before bariatric surgery, risk of death after surgery
Researchers looked at whether a patient's body weight and weight loss before bariatric surgery were associated with risk of death within 30 days after surgery using data from nearly 500,000 patients in the US and Canada.

Bariatric surgery effective against early-onset obesity too
Surgical treatment of obesity is as effective for individuals who developed the disorder early, by the age of 20, as for those who have developed obesity later in life, a study from the University of Gothenburg shows.

Lower risk for malignant melanoma after bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery is associated with a distinct reduction in skin-cancer risk, a study shows.

Study shows risks for additional procedures after bariatric surgery
Which of the two most common bariatric surgeries -- gastric sleeve or gastric bypass -- has the highest subsequent risk of additional operations or procedures?

Studies continue to highlight benefits of bariatric surgery in teens
Children's Colorado researchers and their colleagues found that musculoskeletal pain, physical function and quality of life in adolescents significantly improves and is maintained three years after bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery may not lead to lower health care costs
Despite helping to bring about improved survival and significant weight loss, bariatric surgery may not lead to lower health care costs in the long term, says a Veterans Affairs study.

Bariatric surgery is safe for teens with morbid obesity
Bariatric surgery is safe and, in many cases, beneficial for teenagers with morbid obesity who would otherwise face a heightened risk of developing severe health problems, including heart disease and stroke, according to a new study from Penn Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Criteria for bariatric surgery should consider more than just patient's weight
More than one-third of Americans are obese, and while more than 250,000 bariatric surgeries are performed annually in the United States, experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and 45 worldwide scientific and medical societies say surgery should be an option for many more patients.

Bariatric surgery can be safe and effective for adolescents
Pediatricians are often reluctant to recommend bariatric surgery for teen-agers, but a Rutgers-led study concludes it is a justifiable treatment for adolescents with persistent extreme obesity if they can maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward.

Read More: Bariatric Surgery News and Bariatric Surgery Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.