Vitamin C has long been a popular choice for supporting immunity, but another key nutrient for your immune system is VITAMIN D.
Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it’s actually a fat-soluble hormone that is produced in the body when the skin is exposed to sun. It plays an important role in bone health, hormone function, metabolism, and immune response. Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses directly, according to a study by the Journal of Investigative Medicine. Deficiency in vitamin D is found to be associated with increased autoimmunity, as well as higher susceptibility to infection.
Over the past decade, researchers have been learning more about vitamin D — also known as “the sunshine vitamin” — and how crucial it is for the body to function properly. A vital role of vitamin D is to help activate T-cells, which detect and destroy foreign pathogens, such as respiratory viruses. According to Pub Med, “Vitamin D can stall hyper-inflammatory responses and expedite healing process of the affected areas, primarily in the lung tissue.”
Why do so many people have insufficient levels of Vitamin D?
Limited sun exposure due to seasonality, time of day, air pollution, cloud cover, sunscreen or spending too much time indoors. Unfortunately, UVB ultraviolet light is completely blocked by windows; catching the sun’s rays from inside an office building or the car doesn’t allow for vitamin D absorption.
Darker skin tends to have lower blood levels of vitamin D because the higher levels of pigment (e.g. melanin) acts as a shade, reducing production of vitamin D.
Higher BMI also tends to be associated with lower blood vitamin D levels, as the vitamin accumulates in excess lipid tissue making it less available for use by the body when needed. The good news…blood levels of vitamin D rise when people lose excess weight.
Our food choices, especially processed foods and the Standard American Diet, are not abundant in Vitamin D.
And last, but not least, aging reduces vitamin D production in skin.
What’s the answer?
- The Sun: Go outdoors as much as possible! Even though the sun’s rays are weaker in the winter and less effective at triggering vitamin D production, any sun is better than none.
- Food: We can also get vitamin D from our diet; oily fish, grass-fed beef, liver, pasture raised egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified food are good sources.
Supplementation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin D supplementation lowered the risk of contracting the flu by 58% (for one of the most prevalent strains of the virus at that time).
The good news is that the National Institutes of Health conducted a research study which concluded both injections and oral consumption are equally effective ways to deliver vitamin D into your body.
Which D Vitamin is Best?
Vitamin D3, which is more readily absorbed by the human body and more potent than vitamin D2. Also, D3 is fat soluble and should be consumed with a meal that has high quality fats. You want D3!
*Always ask your doctor before starting a new supplement.
At ReSet we carry Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 along with many other supplements to support your health journey! Especially during the grey winter months, consider supplementing with Vitamin D3 to keep your immune system strong.
Online discounts are also available!