Authors: Joyce C. Waterhouse PhD, Thomas H. Perez, Paul J. Albert
Publication: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Vitamin D research is discussed in light of the hypothesis that the lower average levels of vitamin D frequently observed in autoimmune disease are not a sign of deficiency. Instead, it is proposed that the lower levels result from chronic infection with intracellular bacteria that dysregulate vitamin D metabolism by causing vitamin D receptorA nuclear receptor located throughout the body that plays a key role in the innate immune response. (VDRThe Vitamin D Receptor. A nuclear receptor located throughout the body that plays a key role in the innate immune response.) dysfunction within phagocytes. The VDR dysfunction causes a decline in innate immune function that causes susceptibility to additional infections that contribute to disease progression. Evidence has been accumulating that indicates that a number of autoimmune diseases can be reversed by gradually restoring VDR function with the VDR agonistA substance such as olmesartan (Benicar) or 1,25-D which activates the Vitamin D Receptor and transcribes the genes necessary for a proper innate immune response., olmesartanMedication taken regularly by patients on the Marshall Protocol for its ability to activate the Vitamin D Receptor. Also known by the trade name Benicar. , and subinhibitory dosages of certain bacteriostatic antibiotics. Diseases showing favorable responses to treatment so far include systemic lupus erythematosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, autoimmuneA condition or disease thought to arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body thyroid disease, psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter’s syndrome, type I and II diabetes mellitus and uveitis. Disease reversal using this approach requires limitation of vitamin D in order to avoid contributing to dysfunction of nuclear receptorsIntracellular receptor proteins that bind to hydrophobic signal molecules (such as steroid and thyroid hormones) or intracellular metabolites and are thus activated to bind to specific DNA sequences which affect transcription. and subsequent negative consequences for immune and endocrine function. Immunopathological reactions accompanying bacterial cell death require a gradual elimination of pathogens over several years. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed, along with the compatibility of this model with current research.