Vitamin D May Hold Key Role in DNA Repair

Here is how your DNA works in layman's terms. Deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA, is the hereditary material you inherited from your parents. Your genome can be compared to a book that contains all genetic instructions for your body. A change within the internal features of the cells known as nucleotides can alter your genome. A point mutation occurs when one area within the gene nucleotide is changed.

How does vitamin D help in the repair of your DNA?

DNA damage has many causes including radiation and varying environmental factors. The repair process is ongoing in your DNA which is constantly being bombarded by outside forces. Normally, the repaired DNA is able to keep up with this onslaught but occasionally, the repair process hits a bump in the road and can’t accomplish its task. When the repair fails, one of two things may happen. Either the cell will die or it will live but be permanently changed.

Failure to repair DNA often causes point mutations, like the ones seen in autism. Vitamin D works within the gene to activate a process called transcription. This process sends instructions to transfer information from the DNA to the proteins. What recent studies from the New York Medical College have revealed is that vitamin D helps to protect your DNA repair genes.

Evidence of this point mutation has been found in the DNA of children with autism. The possibility that the initial trigger may have been vitamin D deficiencies during early childhood places a new importance on vitamin D supplementation during the early years of life.