After its conversion from Vitamin D3, calcitriol exerts its effects on the body by binding to and activating vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which are located in the nuclei of target cells.
The major physiological role of vitamin D is to facilitate the intestinal absorption of calcium, by stimulating the expression of proteins involved in calcium transport.
Initially it was believed that only the liver and kidneys contained the enzyme responsible for producing calcitriol from vitamin D3. Studies have indicated that calcitriol may possess antioxidant properties and also strengthens the role of existing antioxidants in the body. Calcitriol can also protect neurons by producing neurotrophins, including neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), glial cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and nerve growth factor (NGF) that promote the survival of neurons in aging and with neurological injury. While there has not been much research focused on its potential role in HD, vitamin D3 deficiency has been implicated as serving a role in a number of neurodegenerative disorders.
For instance, there is compelling evidence that low levels of vitamin D3 are a risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system and causes demyelination and axon degeneration. National Geographic’s archives are a treasure-trove of memories from around the world. ICONIC MAGAZINE National Geographic is marking its 125th birthday this year and as part of the celebrations they are sharing never-published and barely seen photographs from around the world. Many of the pictures are missing dates and locations, so the people behind the blog are hoping members of the public will be able to provide fresh insights.
From Scottish boys playing on a see-saw to miners in West Virginia and service women in the beauty parlour to peasant women in traditional Hungarian clothing, the collection is one readers can get totally lost in. Children circle around an ultraviolet lamp to get a dose of vitamin D in Murmansk, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, August 1977. This week, Celebrity Operation Transformation participant Karl Spain talks about the importance of eating right.
One reader tells us her story about having to travel to the UK for an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy at 19. Sunlight is essential for vitamin D production in the skin and of course our very own happiness. UVA radiation (320–400nm) penetrates deeper into the dermis but interacts with both the Stratum Corneum (skin barrier) and epidermis as well.
The Stratum Corneum tries to block the penetration of ultraviolet light, filtering much of it out before it even reaches deeper into the skin however prolonged exposure to the rays knocks this on its head and begins to breakdown all layers.
The penetration of UV radiation into the skin can also initiate detrimental photochemical reactions, causing both acute conditions such as erythema and chronic conditions such as photoaging, the main contributor to changes in skin’s appearance with age, and skin cancers. Although melanins are ubiquitous in humankind, our understanding of their chemistry is surprisingly limited. Melanins seem to be heterogeneous, with some small regions of order at the nanometer scale. There are different types of melanin, and the ratio of these pigments produces different hair colors, again genetically determined.
Although people with dark hair may still produce the yellow-orange pheomelanin, it is largely masked by the dark eumelanin pigment and cannot easily be seen.
Melanin reduces ultraviolet induced DNA damage by absorbing or scattering the ultraviolet radiation that otherwise would have been absorbed by the DNA. Skin color depends upon the size, number, shape, and distribution of melanosomes, as well as the chemical nature (level of activity) of their melanin content. There is a striking correlation between geographic conditions, particularly exposure to sunlight, and skin tone. Early humankind living in the sun-soaked savannah plains of Africa developed a dark-toned skin, rich in the pigment melanin. There are other benefits to having a high concentration of melanin in the skin and other parts of the body.
It seems that, as early peoples migrated away from the equator into areas less exposed to the sun, there was not enough UV radiation to produce sufficient vitamin D to prevent diseases such as rickets. Light-skinned people visiting sunny locations may not have enough melanin to block the sun sufficiently, and may burn their skin without the protection of sunblock. As the distribution map of skin color shows, skin color variation is not deter mined purely by distance from the equator. The popularity of tanning seems cyclical, alternately being perceived as a healthy vibrant look and as a worrying reminder of the dangers of sunburn and carcinogenic melanomas.
Skin is alive, so when melanin is destroyed by UV ra diation, the skin responds to this damage. Melanogenesis is the name of the process where melanins are produced by specialized pigment cells called melanocytes, in response to UV radiation. Regular tanning beds use several fluorescent lamps (see light bulbs and lamps) that have phosphor blends designed to emit UV in a spectrum that is somewhat similar to the sun.
A tanning bed or sun bed (whether at home or in a salon) is a device emitting ultraviolet radiation used to produce a cosmetic tan. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the use of UV tanning devices for cosmetic reasons. Lotions that contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient are used in many sunless tanning products. Another sunless tanning product is a tanning pill that contains canthaxanthin, most commonly used as a color additive in certain foods (see plants and other organic molecules). While some light skinned people tan or use cosmetic means to darken their skin, dark-skinned people may use cosmetic means to lighten their skin. The term skin whitening covers a variety of cosmetic methods used to lighten the skin’s color. It may also be therapeutic for neurodegenerative diseases, which may be relevant to Huntington’s disease (HD).
There are five different forms of vitamin D, but the two major forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).

Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in providing the proper balance of minerals necessary for bone growth and function.
The prevalence of MS is linked with decreasing exposure to solar UV radiation, and a study by Munger et al. The greatest number of VDRs are found in the substantia nigra, the portion of the brain that primarily degenerates in Parkinson’s disease and can also be affected in HD.
While the extent to which vitamin D3 contributes to neural processes is not clearly understood, there is currently much evidence to support a neuroprotective role for vitamin D3 in the brain, as well as promising evidence that it may have preventative effects against neurodegenerative disorders. Depending on your circumstances, it may be appropriate to consider a mood lamp to help with some of the challenges in your life. Excess exposure to UV rays have a prolific effect on skin ageing, so much so that the suns ray’s accounts for 90 percent of premature skin aging. Free radicals are what is known as an unpaired electron making it extremely reactive enabling it to cause changes within a healthy cell. The damage to skin components caused by both prolonged and incidental sun exposure is called photoaging. Alteration of the Stratum Corneum’s mechanical properties can lead to severe macroscopic skin damage such as chapping and cracking and associated inflammation, infection, scarring, and abnormal desquamation. It is also important to know that while both UVA and UVB rays can harm the skin and lead to skin cancers, UVB is effectively blocked by glass. The optical properties we can see depend on the ability of monomers and oligomers (made up of small numbers of monomers) that make up melanin to absorb light, and the ability of melanin particles to reflect and scatter incident light for different wavelengths. Variation in the color of our eyes from brown to green depends on the amount of melanin in the iris, which in turn is determined genetically. The actual appearance of hair, and its overall reflective quality, is determined primarily by the pigment type, but also by the density and distribution of the pigment granules. However, the red-yellow pheomelanin is believed to cause the warm, golden, or auburn tones found in some types of brown hair. Adjacent patches of hair follicles may show a very precise split between the two pigment types.
This prevents the development of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, as well as other health problems related to exposure to strong solar radiation. These differences have evolved to find the balance between the benefits and the dangers of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation we absorb from the sun. Within the skin cells, melanin concentrates above the nucleus, shielding the vital DNA from radiation damage.
Melanin boosts the immune system, and darker-skinned groups have been shown to have a lower incidence of a number of serious diseases, including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and spina bifida. This vitamin helps promote bone growth, maintaining the right balance between calcium and phosphorus in the body. Their bodies compensated by producing less melanin, so that more sunlight would be allowed through. Dark-skinned people visiting areas where there is less exposure to the sun may apparently not produce enough vitamin D, but can get it from supplements or food sources. Sunshine is the primary source of UV radiation, but artificial sources such as tanning beds produce similar effects. Skin cells will produce more melanin, replacing what has been lost and increasing the percentage of melanin in the skin. The radiation produced is primarily UVA, with some UVB always being emitted, but the combinations of UVA and UVB can vary. Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun and artificial sources is of considerable concern for its adverse effects on health. DHA, which is derived from plant sources like sugar beets and sugar cane, is a colorless sugar that interacts with the dead cells located in the stratum corneum of the epidermis.
While the FDA has approved the use of canthaxanthin in food, it does not approve its use as a tanning agent. The producers claim that the tyrosine stimulates and increases melanin formation, thereby accelerating the natural tanning process.
These powders and moisturizers, once applied, create a tan that can easily be removed with soap and water. This is an even more controversial process than tanning, as the desire for whiter skin is intertwined with issues of health, self-image, racial inequalities and colonial attitudes.
Most skin-lightening treatments are aimed at inhibiting tyrosinase, to reduce or halt the production of melanin. This particular vitamin is found in many food sources, including milk, eggs, and fish, and it can also be produced by the skin through sunlight exposure. Vitamin D2 is produced by plants, while vitamin D3 is produced by the skin of animals in response to sunlight (UV light) exposure.
DNA is made of nucleotide building blocks arranged in a long chain." class="glossaryLink ">DNA and control gene expression, ultimately triggering a biological response.
However, it turns out that VDRs are present in the cells of most organs in the body, suggesting that there is wide diversity in the types of responses that vitamin D3 can promote. In addition, VDRs are widely present throughout the brain, implicating vitamin D3 as a contributor to a variety of neural processes.
Treating substantia nigra neurons with vitamin D3 protects them from Parkinson-like insults (Shinpo et al., 2000).
Increasing levels of  pollutants also have a habit for breaking down the ozone layer, which in more recent years has made us more vulnerable to UV exposure. Ozone layer depletion decreases our atmosphere’s natural protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Such damage can cause a compromised barrier function and can further aggravate skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. There are at least three types of naturally occurring melanins: eumelanin, pheomelanin and neuromelanin.

Once separated from living tissue, they form an amorphous mass and lose their inherent structure, making them very difficult to analyze.
Melanins seem to have some semiconductor properties, and none of the proposed band models adequately account for this. The range of colors produced by melanins is limited to shades of yellow, brown, red, and black.
This effect is most obvious in the patterns and markings of other mammals, such as leopards, tigers, and certain breeds of dog. The amount of UV radiation that is absorbed or scattered is determined by a number of factors: the size, shape, and distribution of melanosomes, as well as the wavelength of the incident ray. In an environment where there is little to break the path of sunlight onto the skin, this barrier is a great advantage.
Darker-skinned individuals also age better, as their skin is better protected from sun damage. This may be because they are exposed to high levels of reflected UV radiation from the snow, or because their diet with its high proportion of fish is rich in vitamin D. This melanin has two effects, acting as a barrier to protect the skin from further damage, and darkening the natural color of the skin. Tanning bulbs are long fluorescent tubes, and fall into two main categories: low pressure lamps and high-pressure bulbs. UV radiation plays an important role in the development of skin cancer, cataracts, (see colorblindness), and other eye conditions. One of the original sunless tanning lotions caused streaking and an orange skin tone, which gave the fake tan a bad reputation.
However, more scientific data is needed to determine the validity of these claims and to assess the safety of using large amounts of tyrosine. Exfoliants such as topical cosmetics or chemical peels may be used, or the skin may be treated with lasers, depending on the response of the individual’s skin to treatment. While vitamin D is widely known for its role in maintaining strong and healthy bones by helping the body absorb calcium, it is much more than a bone-protecting vitamin. UV light reacts with an enzyme called 7-dehydrocholesterol to create pre-vitamin D, which rearranges its structure to form vitamin D3.
The presence of solar UV radiation in human life is essential for vitamin D production but also leads to skin photoaging, damage, and malignancies. Both the chemical composition and the physical properties differ for the various types of melanin, suggesting that their chemical and biological responses may behave differently when exposed to light. Individuals with black or brown eyes have eyes with more melanin to block the sun’s rays. Low levels of pheomelanin (in the absence of eulamelanin) are characteristic of cream-colored hair in many animals.
A tan effect is also created when existing melanin is oxidized, but this doesn’t last as long. As with some tanning products, there is some evidence suggesting that there are harmful side effects to skin-lightening products. Research for the past few decades has shed light on the protective effects of vitamin D on immune and neural cells and has implicated a deficiency of vitamin D as a risk factor for various brain diseases. An enzyme then converts vitamin D3 into a compound called calcitriol, which is the active form of vitamin D that is responsible for the numerous health benefits.
NT-3 protects nerve transmission and synaptic plasticity, and GDNF influences the survival and differentiation of dopamine-producing cells. Although more extensive research into this area is needed, these results suggest that vitamin D3 could have a potential role in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.
Sunshine is important in creating Vitamin D in the body as well as creating a better mood for us.
Those with blue, green, or hazel eyes have little protection from the sun and may experience discomfort, irritation, burning, and tissue damage if the eyes are not protected by sunglasses when exposed to bright light. A small amount of brown eumelanin in the absence of other pigments apparently causes blond hair.
White hairs contain no melanin at all: their whiteness is an optical effect, due to the way they reflect the light. Upon taking the tanning pill, canthaxanthin is deposited all over your body, including in your skin, which turns an orange-brown color. This article will focus primarily on a form of vitamin D called vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and how the vitamin may be protective against neurodegenerative diseases such as HD. Pheomelanin is a lighter pigment found in red hair, and is concentrated in the redder areas of the skin such as the lips.
The number of bulbs used by tanning beds vary: those designed for the home use 20 to 30 bulbs, commercial beds use 30 to 40 bulbs, and specialist stand-up booths use as many as 60 bulbs. Various side effects, including canthaxanthin retinopathy, a condition in which yellow deposits form in the retina of the eye, have been identified. Studies show that depression increases in people when there is continual darkness or lack of substantial sunlight. Because people with red hair are less able to make the dark eumelanin pigment, their skin is generally quite pale and burns easily with sun exposure. HappyLite is intended to be used for 20-30 minutes per day to create the sensation of sunshine.

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