Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)

Overview:
Cholecalciferol is a form of vitamin D (vitamin D3) with antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. Research indicates that it may contribute to delaying neurodegenerative and age-associated cognitive decline.

Scientific Name:
(3β,5Z,7E)-9,10-secocholesta-5,7,10(19)-trien-3-ol

Mechanisms:

  • Cholecalciferol is an inactive form that is converted by the liver and kidneys to the active form calcitriol[1]
  • The effects of calcitriol are mediated via the vitamin D receptor (VDR)[1]
  • VDR is found in the substantia nigra, cerebellum, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, and hippocampus[2]
  • Regulates NGF, and GDNF synthesis – neuronal survival and growth[3]
  • Upregulation of NT-3 – enhanced neuronal communication and synaptic plasticity[3]
  • Antioxidant properties – inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and increases glutathione.[4,5]
  • Facilitates calcium absorption[6]
References

[1] Christakos S, et al (2016). Vitamin D: Metabolism, Molecular Mechanism of Action, and Pleiotropic Effects. Physiol Rev, 96(1):365-408. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00014.2015
[2] Harms LR, et al (2011). Vitamin D and the brain. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab, 25(4):657-69. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2011.05.009
[3] Shirazi HA, et al (2015). 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 enhances neural stem cell proliferation and oligodendrocyte differentiation. Exp Mol Pathol, 98(2):240-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2015.02.004
[4] d’Uscio LV, et al (2003). Long-term vitamin C treatment increases vascular tetrahydrobiopterin levels and nitric oxide synthase activity. Circ Res, 92(1):88-95. doi: 10.1161/01.RES.0000049166.33035.62
[5] Alvarez JA, et al (2014). Vitamin D status is independently associated with plasma glutathione and cysteine thiol/disulphide redox status in adults. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), 81(3):458-66. doi: 10.1111/cen.12449
[6] Christakos S, et al (2011). Vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption. Mol Cell Endocrinol, 347(1-2):25-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.05.038