Study: The Role of Vitamins on Homeostasis & Immunosurveillance of the Gut

Study: The Role of Vitamins on Homeostasis & Immunosurveillance of the Gut

Nov 07 , 2022

The Specific Roles of Vitamins in the Regulation of Immunosurveillance and Maintenance of Immunologic Homeostasis in the Gut

By: Koji Hosomi and Jun Kunisawa

Published by the National Library of Medicine. February 2017.

Vitamins are known to be an essential component of the maintenance of our immune system. Vitamin deficiency, therefore, may increase the risk of infection, allergies, and inflammatory diseases. This study focuses on the specific roles vitamins play on the homeostasis and immunosurveillance of the gut, thus preventing infection, allergies and inflammatory diseases.

The effects of vitamin A, B, D, and E were monitored and tested by studying the immune response of mice that were fed vitamin deficient and vitamin supplemented diets, as well as monitoring human responses to vitamin deficient and supplemented diets. The studies viewed the effects on a cellular level to pinpoint the effects of each specific vitamin.

A diet high in Vitamin A showed to enhance the induction of Treg cells in mice, cells that promote homeostasis and regulate the immune system in the gut. Vitamin A deficiency, on the other hand, has been shown to increase the risk of infection in humans. When given a Vitamin B deficient diet, mice showed a reduction of Treg cells in their intestines, opening them up to an increased chance for infection or inflammation in the gut. They also showed impaired immune responses to oral vaccines. In humans, Vitamin D deficiency has been tied to certain inflammatory diseases and the supplementation of Vitamin D has been shown to decrease the severity of symptoms in these diseases. Lastly, studies show that Vitamin E is important for protecting cell membranes and regulating adhesion molecules, and thus diets rich in Vitamin E were beneficial for the immune system.

These studies showed that vitamins do support certain immune system functions. Further, vitamin supplementation was shown to be effective for the reduction of infection and inflammatory disease and therefore could be used as a method for managing certain diseases.

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