Washington, Mar 16 : Scientists at the Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan, have found that bile acids could aid in developing new vitamin D therapies for conditions beyond just bone and skin disorders.
The study, led by Makoto Makishima, suggests that bile acids derivatives are capable of turning on the vitamin D receptor (VDR) without causing excess calcium build up.
Bile acids are the compounds secreted from the liver that aid in digestion. While vitamin D-based drugs are effective against some cancers and microbial infections, the risk of excess blood calcium has limited their clinical use.
The team discovered that bile acid derivate known as LCA (lithocolic acid), is a potent VDR activator.
The team compared the effects of orally-fed vitamin D or LCA derivatives on mice and found that LCA could promote VDR activation in mice without causing calcium build up and weight loss that was observed in vitamin D animals.
This study thus suggests that bile acid derivates might have solid clinical potential.
The report appears in Journal of Lipid Research.