Research & Education

The Latest on Vitamin D


The ubiquity of vitamin D-related news stories is such that you can't browse a news site without running into some story or research article discussing a new health benefit or exceptional property of the sunshine vitamin.

The importance of the vitamin and its plethora of benefits have been well documented of late but new information continues to pour out of research facilities. For instance when you think of vitamin D weight loss is normally not the first thing that comes to mind. While it is well documented that vitamin D deficiency plays a direct role in the pathogenesis of obesity  conversely according to a recent study vitamin D use was shown to have a positive impact on not only weight loss but also on blood lipids in overweight and obese females as well.

Immune support

Vitamin D's role in the immune system immune response and inflammation is multifaceted and complex. It has a central role in the differentiation of T-helper cells (Th-1 and Th-2 immunity) and therefore has an impact on immune imbalance including auto-immunity.  Vitamin D also seems to be integral to the production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). AMPs are molecules produced in the skin to fend off infection-causing microbes. When levels of vitamin D are low production of parathyroid hormone (PTH) which normally helps modulate calcium levels in blood is ramped up. More PTH or a related peptide called PHTrP prompts increased expression of AMPs which kill a broad spectrum of harmful bacteria fungi and viruses.  

Vitamin D also modulates the production of the cytokine Interleukin-5 (IL-5) which is essential for the formation of eosinophils thought to have a major role in the pathogenesis of asthma and other allergic diseases.


Another prospective functional role for vitamin D that's been recently discovered is one that is normally associated with another nutrient iron. Hemoglobin levels a marker used to monitor and diagnose anemia appear to be influenced by blood levels of D low levels of which were associated with lower levels of hemoglobin and therefore an increased risk of developing anemia in children.

Pain relief

Another unique and unconventional role vitamin D may play is in the alleviation of certain types of pain. For instance a new study has revealed that women suffering from dysmenorrhea a sign of which is severe pain and menstrual cramps find enormous pain relief after receiving a single high dose of the vitamin.  The study also reported that the women who were receiving the vitamin D therapy were also able to discontinue NASAID-type medication use during their menses as well.


Lastly while we know that chronic vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of developing type II diabetes the vitamin's deficiency can also lead to severe nerve pain in this population known as diabetic neuropathy.

It is plain to see now in light of the profound roles this hormone-like vitamin plays in human physiology why vitamin D continues to be center stage in both the media and in research facilities.

by Michael Fuhrman D.C.


Designs for Health has a complete suite of vitamin D products to suit any need:

Vitamin D Supreme - provides a clinically useful dose of vitamin D3 5000 IU per veggie cap and vitamin K in both K1 and the MK-7 form of K2

Vitamin D Synergy - contains 2000 IU of vitamin D3 as Cholecalciferol and 200 mcg of vitamin K as Phytonadione 

Vitamin D Ultra 10K - Our highest potency vitamin D product providing 10000 IU of vitamin D per serving

Emulsi-D3 a pleasant tasting naturally emulsified liquid Vitamin D3 providing 20000 IU per serving (drop)

Emulsi-D3 Synergy  has the same concentrated highly bioavailable emulsified liquid form of vitamin D found in our Emulsi-D3 (2000 IU per drop) with an added 250 mcg of vitamin K1