What You Require to Know About Vitamin D
and Its Effect on Your Immune System
Vitamin D is one of the most important ingredients of a healthy immune system. In fact, before the development of antibiotics & advanced medical care, healthcare experts unknowingly treated patients that had infectious illnesses using vitamin D, achieving good outcomes in the process.
Recent decades of scientific study has revealed that vitamin D has intimate connections to the immune system.
- Vitamin D and Protection from Infections
- Vitamin D and Autoimmunity
- The Link between Vitamin D & Cancer
- How to Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D and Protection from Infections
If your body doesn't have sufficient vitamin D, your immune system can have a hard time fighting off infections. Some studies have found that people with vitamin D deficiencies are more likely to experience upper respiratory infections, influenza, and bacterial infections.
Moreover, there is data that supplementing vitamin D can decrease the risk of getting sick with influenza or other related diseases. This could explain why so numerous people get sick in the winter.
In winter month, people tend to bundle up against the cold & spend less time outdoors. Which covers most of the US, who can not make vitamin D in winter months due to the angle of the sun related to earth. The vitamin D shortage then makes you more sensitive to catching a cold or flu.
There is also evidence that suggests low levels of vitamin D are increasing mortality. It is theorized that this occurs because vitamin D can help prevent the dangerous cytokine storm that can happen.
Vitamin D and Autoimmunity
Vitamin D can help balance out and boost the immune system. In other words, it exerts immuno-modulatory effects. This is important because when the healthy immune system becomes overactive, it can attack your cells. When this happens, it's called an autoimmune illness.
Research has found relationships between vitamin D deficiency & autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes.
As such, specialists believe that getting enough vitamin D is important for the prevention of autoimmunity.
The take home point here is that vitamin D has immunomodulatory effects that help balance the immune system & prevent the immune system from overreacting & attacking healthy cells.
The Link between Vitamin D and Cancer
Most people understand that the immune system is important for killing off viruses. But in addition to killing off bad bacteria or infections, your immune system has the important of destroying cancer cells before they multiply & become a problem.
The immune system is perfect. Cancer cells have a few clever tric, however. Some cancer cells for example can change their ways to hide from natural killer cells, a type of immune cell that can kill bad microbes or cells, including cancer cells.
Evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a vital role in the healthy immune system for many types of cancer cells. This could explain why there are relationships between vitamin D & reduced cancer mortality. This seems to be especially the case for reduced risk of breast cancer.
One study, women with high levels of vitamin D had an 82% lower risk of breast cancer related to women with a low level of vitamin D. Survival rates for breast cancer are also considerably better for women with higher vitamin D.
Of course, cancer is exceptionally complicated. This does not mean vitamin D is prevention or cure. Rather it shows that vitamin D plays a vital role in the immune system, which we rely on to have us healthy.
How to Get More Vitamin D
You should get naturally vitamin D from the sun, which is easier in the summer months. Aim for at least 15 minute of direct sunlight to skin exposure every day. If you have darker skin, you require even more time in the sun.
In addition to providing vitamin D, sun exposure is known to trigger the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can combine with reactive sun exposure to produce a compound called peroxynitrite that is a natural antibacterial factor produced in your body.
Getting sun exposure can also improve normalize your circadian beat for good sleep, which also plays a critical role in immune system health.
However, getting 15 minutes of sun exposure simply is not possible or even practical sometimes. The next best choice is getting it is through your diet with oily fish or mushrooms, or via a nutritional supplement.
Its Effect on Your Immune System
While it is a good purpose to take a vitamin D supplement during winter months, many vitamin D supplements out there are sourced from the oils.
Mushrooms are the only super food source for vitamin D, making them an optimal, environmentally friendly source of vitamin D. Despite rumors that the plant based form of vitamin D is inferior to animal based vitamin D, studies have found that both forms of vitamin D are uniformly effective.
In addition to natural vitamin D, an ideal supplement should include the nutrition that optimizes absorption. Mineral-rich greens provide the right balance of vitamin K, magnesium & other nutrients your body requires.
A healthy immune system is critical to our well-being. Research shows that vitamin D is support for immune health through protecting us from diseases & helping to prevent an over-active immune system. Since one vitamin can have such a big effect, getting enough vitamin D should be a priority each day.
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