How do you make a hormone? You put her in the sunshine. The discussion of the biochemistry of vitamin D is just as convoluted and confounded as the last statement. To quote the words of Reinhold Vieth, “There is probably no other area of steroid biochemistry so burden by terminology complexity as the field of vitamin D.” This has always been painfully obvious to me as I have tried to sort through the nomenclature of vitamin D to reach an understanding of what doctors, researchers, and scientist were saying. The confusion has recently been brought to my attention again in an email conversation with a reader.
It seems that the main fall back word is vitamin D and we do not know what the person using the word is really referring to, or more clearly, what specific compound the communicator is pointing toward. In some cases and I am afraid more often than not, even the person using the word does not know what compound they are giving for reference. I have been guilty of that error myself in writing this blog. To make matters worse, it has been assumed, that various compounds of vitamin D are equal in their biochemistry. This could not be further from the reality. Now that Oxford scientist have shown that over 2700 genes can be impacted by vitamin D, the clarity of the various sterols is necessary in order to reach defining realities inside of the human body.
As an undergraduate student, I started as a major in chemistry. My first year laboratory professor was Dr. Forrest C. Hentz. Dr. Hentz’s advice to us as we approached the various curricula was to spend as much time as necessary in learning the nomenclature of each subject. He went on to describe that ninety-seven percent of learning was in the understanding of the physical realities of the words that were being used. This could not be more appropriated when related to the studies of vitamin D. Dr. Hentz also went on to say that the many intermediates in chemical reactions might not every be understood, but the importance was in the beginning and ending compounds. It is time stop playing ‘money games’ with the analogs of vitamin D, and to start looking for the many diseases from the deficiency of vitamin D as formed from UVB light incident on the skin.
The art and science of medicine will always be a slave to the definition of the words that are used to communicate physical realities. – Pandemic Survivor