Aging, Immune system, Thymosin hormones, and Vitamin D supplementation

A 51 yr old male with thymus gland issues present accelerated aging and decreased immune system function

Case: 51 , male , had pyloric stenosis when he was young in his teens, now has many medical issues (allergies, skin disease, hypertension, other aging related health issues)

My research points to the thymus gland. More male newborn are affected by pyloric stenosis as their chest circumference are greater than female newborn. Hormones are affected that can be influenced by the nutritional status of pregnant mothers.

This winter, we must all get sufficient Vitamin D and eat sulfur rich whole foods.

Some of the biggest vitamin D deficiency symptoms include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Seasonal depression
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer
  • Weak bones (osteopenia)
  • Skin issues eczema and psoriasis
  • Dementia

Nutrition needs:

  • MSM powder and sulfur rich whole foods (onions, garlic)
  • Vitamin D , zinc and Vitamin C
  • Exercise in the sun
  • Top 10 Vitamin D Rich Foods

    1) Sunlight
    Promotes vitamin D synthesis from cholesterol in the skin.

    2) Cod liver oil
    1 tsp: 440 IU (over 100% DV)

    3) Sardines
    3 ounces: 164 IU (41% DV)

    4) Salmon
    3 ounces: 400 IU (100% DV)

    5) Mackerel
    3 ounces: 400 IU (100% DV)

    6) Tuna
    3 ounces: 228 IU (57% DV) 

    7) Raw Milk
    1 cup: 98 IU (24% DV)

    8) Caviar
    1 oz: 33 IU (8% DV)

    9) Eggs
    1 large: 41 IU (10% DV)

    10) Mushrooms
    1 cup: 2 IU (1% DV)

Thymosin ß-4 repairs and remodels skin, neural system and heart tissues following injury

Thymosin ß-4 is one of the thymic hormones [8], it is abundant in human cells and tissues, representing 70–80% of the total thymosin content [9] [10] it is an active peptide with 43 amino acids [8] it is omnipresent as intracellular protein, bind to and sequester G-actin to modulate cell migration [11]. Several physiological properties of Tβ4 have been reported; [12] repairing and remodeling of skin, neural system and heart tissues following injury [13], assisting in the development of B cells to plasma cells to produce antibodies [14] implicated in lymphocyte maturation and differentiation [9, 15], controlling cell morphogenesis and motility [16] preventing fibrosis [17], acting as a modulator of wound healing and inflammation [18] and regulating immunity [19]. Tβ4 is the major actin-sequestering molecule in all eukaryotic cells [20]. (Tβ4) is considered to play a significant role in the cellular metabolism due to its actin-sequestering properties [12].

A cluster of differentiation cells- often referred to as CD4 cells- are glycoprotein located on the surface of various types of immune cells restricted to T helper lymphocytes. It has an important function such as signal amplification and T- cell activation [21]. CD4 is a co-receptor that assists the T cell receptor (TCR) in communicating with an antigen-presenting cell [22].

Zinc was found to be necessary for a normal functioning of the immune system [23], altered zinc levels disturb the functions of innate immunity [24], and mild zinc deficiency depresses immunity [25].


Vitamin D influences Tβ4 and CD4 levels so supplementation with vitamin D is essential to support immunity.

In this study we identified that the majority of subjects were severely deficient in vitamin D where the ratio was 2:5 in which (28.58%) were sufficient and (71.42%) were severely deficient in vitamin D which could be attributed to blood sampling at the end of winter; an observation noted in the studies carried by both Anderson, and Pittawaw as they found vitamin D levels to depend on season [27] [28], because Vitamin D levels are in their lowest levels after winter and their higher at summer [29]. Our current study found a strongly significant correlation between vitamin D, Thymosin beta 4 and CD4. Thymosin beta 4 is the most abundant thymosin in human cells and tissues, it represents 70–80% of the total thymosin content [9] and implicated in lymphocyte maturation and differentiation [15] while vitamin D receptor VDR is found nearly in every tissue and cell type in the body [30] and resides in the cytoplasm in the absence of VDR ligands [31]. When stimulated with 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(2) or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3), VDR moves from the cytoplasm into the nucleus [31].

Thus, the strongly significant correlation between vitamin D, Thymosin beta 4 and CD4 found in this study may raise a speculation about a release of thymosin beta 4 secondary to vitamin D stimulated VDR in the thymus. The correlation found between vitamin D and CD4 could be explained that vitamin D has effects on adaptive immune cells because of the expression of the nuclear (vitamin D receptor) as well as vitamin D-activating enzymes in both T- and B-cells [32]. The VDR expression by these cells is very low in resting conditions but when activated, T- and B cells up-regulate VDR expression significantly, allowing regulation of up to 500 vitamin D responsive genes which influence their differentiation and proliferation [33] [34] therefore leading to a shift from a proinflammatory to a more tolerogenic immune status [35].

A recent study by Hewison who proposed that vitamin D influence on T cells function by the direct conversion of 25(OH)D to calcitriol by T-cells, and the effects of calcitriol on T-cells in which calcitriol have indirect effects on antigen presentation to T cells [36]. This study also revealed a strong positive correlation between thymosin β4 and CD4in agreement with Knutsen and colleagues in 1999 [37] which could be attributed to the fact that thymosin β4 is the predominant form of thymic hormones [38], and that its primary function is to stimulate the production of T- cells which are targets of thymosin activity [39]. In our study vitamin D was in positive correlation with CD4 -that represent helper cells – which has found to contain the significant amount of VDR [40]. Our study was in agreement with (Ritterhouse et al) [41] vitamin D regulates T-helper 1 (Th1) and dendritic cell function [42], which suggest that vitamin D support the innate and the adaptive immune system.

We didn’t find any significant difference regarding zinc levels between group 1 and 2 or any correlation between zinc and vitamin D, Thymosin beta-4 and CD4 because the sources of zinc like whole grains, cereals and legumes, was available for our subjects according to questionnaire; as whole grains are high in zinc [43]. In addition, a study conducted by Hess, 2007 revealed that zinc levels in the serum are not an indicator marker of zinc status because it is detectable in a population with risk and severe deficiency [44]. A recent study by Chiplokara and Kawade 2012 observed that zinc deficiency is very rare but moderate is widespread [45]. Vitamin D dietary intake is highly dependent on nutritional habits. However, a study with a global perspective found that 6 to 47% of vitamin D intake comes from dietary supplements [46] [7]. Thus, without supplementation, vitamin D status strongly will depend on endogenous vitamin D production which is also influenced by latitude, skin pigmentation, season, and lifestyle such as clothing [47] [48].

In conclusion, Vitamin D is obtained from limited dietary sources and the high vitamin D deficiency found in this study emphasizes the importance of increased awareness and supplementation. It is apparent that vitamin D influences Tβ4 and CD4 levels so supplementation with vitamin D is essential to support immunity. More experimental trials in laboratories are needed to measure the levels of thymosin beta 4 in the compartments of thymus by its direct stimulation with vitamin D and measuring its concentration in vitro to explore the strong correlation found between vitamin D and thymosinβ4.

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