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Title: Investigating the effects of dietary-derived and sunlight-derived vitamin D3 on markers of immune function
Author: Maboshe, Wakunyambo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 8541
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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Primarily synthesised via cutaneous exposure to solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, serum vitamin D concentrations, measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), fluctuate according to solar availability. Seasonal variations in vitamin D are common in areas of high or low latitude determined by the distance from the sun. Seasonal variations in blood pressure, immune markers and some diseases including influenza, have also been reported. However, the contributions of UVB light or vitamin D on the immune markers have not been fully determined. Against this background, the purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of UVB light therapy and dietary vitamin D supplementation on markers of immune function. The D SIRe1 study aimed to assess whether dietary-derived 25(OH)D could have similar effects on immune function as light-derived 25(OH)D. The study was an 8-week comparative intervention trial in healthy adults randomised to receive either 3 times weekly UVB radiation (equivalent to doses received during a Grampian-summer) for 4 weeks; or oral vitamin D3 (1000 IU a day for 8 weeks). Total 25(OH)D was measured by dual tandem mass spectrometry of serum samples following removal of protein and de-lipidation, whilst regulatory T cells (Tregs), known for maintaining immune system homeostasis, by flow cytometry. The study showed similar short-term effects between oral vitamin D and UVB exposure on measured outcomes. However, study interpretation was limited by the lack of a placebo group, yet, to our knowledge, this was the first study to directly compare dose-matched UVB therapy and vitamin D supplementation in healthy participants. Using similar laboratory techniques, the D-SIRe2 study, a placebo-controlled trial, assessed short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (43 weeks) effects of vitamin D supplementation on immune markers. Commencing in spring (March) and finishing in winter (January) 2015/2016, the study showed seasonal fluctuations in most immune markers. The fluctuations did not change according to variations in 25(OH)D concentrations nor were they correlated with solar UVB doses, with the exception of T cell proliferative responses, which were positively correlated with daily solar UVB doses. An interesting finding from this study was the prevention of increases in pro-inflammatory IFN-γ cytokine concentrations in the spring and summer time in the vitamin D3 supplemental group versus placebo. IFN-γ concentrations were raised from 7940 pg/mL at baseline in March, to roughly 12400 pg/mL at week 4 and to 13909 pg/mL at week 12 in the placebo group. The concentrations were roughly 1.3 times the mean concentrations measured in the vitamin D group at the timepoints following baseline concentrations of 10678 pg/mL, and 10013 pg/mL and 10233 pg/mL at weeks 4 and 12, respectively. The interactions between solar light or seasonal effects and oral vitamin D supplementation, as well as their individual and combined effects on immune function, are yet to be fully determined. Moreover, the metabolic and physiological implications of seasonal variation in serum 25(OH)D concentration and markers of immune function are currently unknown, requiring further investigation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cholecalciferol ; Diet ; Solar radiation ; Immune response ; Vitamin D in the body