JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. –

Scientists at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine have discovered vitamin D could be beneficial for more than strengthening bones. The vitamin could actually lessen calcification in soft tissue.

“Vitamin D could regulate calcification and it turned out when you put more Vitamin D on to conditions where you get more calcification, you can protect against the calcification,” Dr. Matt Keasey, a research associate in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Kease added that soft tissue calcification is most common in the elderly but no matter the age, your body needs it. Vitamin D is mostly absorbed through sunlight, but it can be found in supplements as well.

”Vitamin D is formed freely within the body so we don’t generally need to alter the way we live apart from getting plenty of sunlight,” Keasey said.

“ETSU may be a little bit more on the map of medical discoveries,” Dr. Theo Hagg, chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, said. “We’re not only studying little molecules that are interesting to us but also that we look at the region and start applying research to the problems that we have specifically in East Tennessee,” Hagg said.

The research has been ongoing for the last year and a half and Keasey said they still have more to discover about vitamin D.

“It has an opposite of fact in the brain then what it does in the bones which are very interesting so really was trying to figure out how and why,” said Keasey.

Vitamin D is also known to fight diseases, boost weight loss, and fight depression.