Life Extension study finds lipid based vitamin D formulation boosts blood levels

Life Extension® study finds lipid-based vitamin D formulation boosts blood levels 28.5% in 60 days

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, April 28, 2015. According to a Life Extension Clinical Research, Inc. study, switching to a lipid-based softgel formulation containing 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 led to a statistically significant 28.5% increase in 25(OH) D blood levels among healthy adults who had been taking 5,000 IU of a dry powder-based vitamin D3.

The study, titled "An open-label study to evaluate the effect of 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 softgel on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels among healthy adults" was presented at the Experimental Biology Scientific Conference in Boston, Mass. on March 29, 2015. The annual scientific meeting is comprised of over 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies and multiple guest societies with interest in research and life sciences.

The researchers, Steven P. Hirsh, RPh, DPM, MHSA, Luke G. Huber, ND, MBA, Kira Schmid, ND, Judith Woolger, MD, and Steven V. Joyal, MD, set out to determine if a lipid-based softgel vitamin D supplement could boost vitamin D levels in healthy adults who had already been taking a dry, powder-based vitamin D capsule at the same dosage for at least 3 months.

After discontinuing their dry powder-based vitamin D3 capsules, 16 participants were instructed to take a lipid-based softgel formulation containing 5,000 IU vitamin D3 for 60 days. Serum levels of 25(OH)D were measured at baseline (prior to vitamin D3 softgel ingestion), day 30, and day 60.

Fifteen participants completed the study. No serious adverse events were reported. Compared with baseline, levels of 25(OH)D increased by 16.0% by day 30 and 28.5% by day 60. The results were statistically significant.

Dr. Steven Hirsh, director of clinical research at Life Extension Clinical Research, Inc., notes this study helps answer an important question about the optimal delivery method for vitamin D supplementation.

"One of the key considerations is the impact of different delivery vehicles, especially powders and oils, on nutrient bioavailability," says Dr. Hirsh. "Our findings suggest a lipid-based vitamin D formulation may be superior to a dry powder-based product and provides a rationale for further research in this area."

The form of vitamin D utilized for this study was cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)—the natural form of vitamin D that the body makes in response to sunlight. Vitamin D has received significant research attention over the past decade and is known to play a critical role in calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, bone mineralization, and skeletal growth. A low level of vitamin D has been linked to various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease.

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Think D for depression
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An article published online on March 6, 2015 in Psychiatry Research reports an association between depression in young women and reduced vitamin D levels.

The current study included 185 female undergraduates residing in the Pacific Northwest during fall, winter and spring academic terms. Participants rated their depressive symptoms weekly for four weeks. Blood samples collected at the beginning and end of the study were analyzed for vitamins C and D3.

Insufficient vitamin D levels of less than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) were detected in 42% of the women at the beginning of the study and among 46% at its conclusion. The incidence of insufficiency was 61% in non-white women, in comparison with 35% among the rest of the group.

Clinically significant depressive symptoms were reported by 34%-42% of the participants over the course of the study. Having a low initial level of vitamin D3 was a predictor of depression across all weeks of the investigation. According to authors David Kerr of Oregon State University and his associates, there was evidence that the observed reduction in depressive symptoms that occurred in the fall could be explained by increased levels of vitamin D.

"It may surprise people that so many apparently healthy young women are experiencing these health risks," Dr Kerr remarked. "Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and readily available. They certainly shouldn't be considered as alternatives to the treatments known to be effective for depression, but they are good for overall health."

"Depression has multiple, powerful causes and if vitamin D is part of the picture, it is just a small part," he noted. "But given how many people are affected by depression, any little inroad we can find could have an important impact on public health."

Life Extension Clinical Research Update

Participate in a Clinical Study:
Support Male Sexual Health (CL073)
South Florida Location

Study objective:
Assess the effect of a nutritional supplement for male sexual health over the course of 30 days.

To qualify:

  • You must be between 50 and 70 years of age.
  • Be in a stable sexual relationship for at least 6 or more months.
  • Able to comply with all study procedures and visits.

Your involvement:

  • You will make 3 visits over 30 days.
  • You will receive the nutritional supplement to be studied, blood pressure evaluations, and blood tests including a male hormone panel.
  • Upon successful completion of the trial, you will be compensated for time and travel up to $100.
Register For This Study

Or call 1-866-517-4536

If you refer someone who enrolls in a study and completes their final visit with closeout procedures, you will be compensated the amount noted for the study.

Health Concern

Brain tumors

Vitamin D deficiency that occurred before birth may have set the stage for brain tumor formation later in life. Vitamin D deficiency during gestation causes long-term effects on brain development (Levenson CW et al 2008).

Vitamin D remains important after birth, as it activates chemical pathways, in particular the sphingomyelin pathway, which kills glioblastoma cells (Magrassi L et al 1998). Vitamin D3, the chemical form of vitamin D made in the skin and sold as a nutritional supplement, calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D), the active form of vitamin D, and various chemical analogs and metabolites of vitamin D, have all been shown to inhibit growth and trigger apoptosis in neuroblastoma and glioma cells (Naveilhan P et al 1994, Baudet C et al 1996, Elias J et al 2003, van Ginkel PR et al 2007).

A 2009 report on brain tumor death statistics from Finland alludes to the benefit of vitamin D. Mortality from brain tumors is highest in patients who were diagnosed and underwent surgery during the late winter, particularly from February to March. This is the time of year when vitamin D levels are at their lowest (Hakko H et al 2009). Similar seasonal variations in cancer survival rates are seen for lung (Porojnicu AC et al 2007), breast (Stajner I et al 2010), and colon cancer (Robinson D 2010). The explanation tendered in all these studies is that in the winter people have lower vitamin D levels and are less capable of fighting the cancer.

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