What does this gene do?
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. The human body has evolved so that it is able to make enough vitamin D from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to sufficient amounts of sunlight. But factors in our modern lifestyles such as increased: indoor living, seasons, where we live, smog/pollution, clothing and sunscreen use has influenced the biosynthesis of vitamin D. With all these factors in mind, it should come as no surprise that one billion people worldwide have a deficiency or insufficiency in this sunshine vitamin. So if you’re living in northern latitudes and are covered up over the winter months – take note.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to softening and weakening of the bones, a disorder known as rickets. Sufficient vitamin D is needed to prevent chronic diseases like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, depression and certain cancers.
The function of vitamin D in the body is to control normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by regulating their absorption and release from bone.
This role of optimal vitamin D in health has expanded and as knowledge about this vitamin grows, research suggests it supports:
- Bone and Dental Health
- Modulation of Immune Function
- Healthy Cell Differentiation
- Neurologic and Cognitive Health
- Musculoskeletal Comfort
- Cardiovascular Health
- Healthy Blood Sugar Metabolism
- Lower risks of colorectal cancer
- Lower risk of autoimmune disease
The benefits of optimal vitamin D levels target over 200 genes and is vital in the development, growth and maintenance of a healthy body through all stages of our life.
It’s found in forms: D2, D3 and metabolites of cholecalciferol (D3). A recent study reported D3 is about 87% more powerful in raising and two-to threefold greater in producing the storage of vitamin D.
Group specific component (GC) gene is where vitamin D binding protein is located. This protein is the main vitamin D carrier and as a result can affect the availability of vitamin D and its metabolites. The vitamin D binding protein is able to bind certain forms of vitamin D, these include: vitamin D2, vitamin D3, calcifediol and calcitriol.
Vitamin D is mostly found in the blood and is bound to this protein. In this way it transports the different forms of vitamin D between the skin, liver, kidneys and then to different target tissues.
The GC gene variant has been associated with differences in the circulation of vitamin D. It’s suggested to account for the differences of vitamin D status. It can determine how individuals respond to vitamin D supplementation.
The risk C allele, has been linked to lower vitamin D levels and could be at higher risk for having vitamin D insufficiency in comparison with AA genotype.
The CC genotype is associated with an even lower vitamin D levels, in comparison to if you just had one C allele.
The AC genotype is observed in approximately 35-40% of European and Asian populations. The general population the CC genotype is observed at a frequency of less than 5%.