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Vitamin D and Your Immune System

It’s troubling that so many of us are deficient in Vitamin D because it plays a vital role in several areas of our health. Not only bone and heart health, but also for keeping the immune system strong, something that’s now more important than ever.

 Your immune system is your body’s key defense when it comes to fighting off invaders. Aside from handwashing and quarantining, there are other measures you can take to stay strong. While Vitamin C is a popular go-to choice for supporting immunity, we now know Vitamin D is just as important. 

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

Staying indoors too much. Nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D is primarily obtained through sun exposure. Since most of us spend a lot of time indoors, it’s no wonder we’re lacking D.

Sunscreen use. For decades we’ve been slathering on sunscreen with the highest SPF we can find. While it’s important to protect our skin from damaging rays, some sun exposure – usually 10-30 minutes a day several times a week – is necessary to keep Vitamin D levels healthy. If you live in northern climates where you have fewer sunny days or are dark-skinned, elderly or overweight, your ability to produce Vitamin D is further reduced.

Insufficient consumption of fish and dairy. Foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin D like salmon, liver, tuna, sardines and egg yolks are often missing from the modern diet. Even though milk, orange juice and cereal are fortified with Vitamin D, you’d need to consume huge amounts and they may cause other unwanted health issues.

Inability to absorb dietary fat. Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, you need to have the ability to absorb it. Some health conditions that affect your digestive tract and certain medications will inhibit absorption.

Vitamin D and Your Immune System

 Vitamin D receptors are found in your immune cells. Recent research suggests Vitamin D may boost the natural immune function and help ensure the immune system stays balanced. Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with increased risk of respiratory issues, lung function and overall susceptibility to immune-related issues.

Benefits of Vitamin D

  • Builds strong bones, teeth and a healthy heart
  • Promotes proper absorption of calcium, phosphate and magnesium
  • Facilitates a healthy immune function
  • Strengthens your body’s natural defenses
  • Lessens your health risks
  • Fosters muscle function, strength and balance
  • Helps activate “killer cells” in the body

Vitamin D Supplements

 Because it’s so difficult to consume enough Vitamin D, and sun exposure may not be an option, many people choose to supplement with Vitamin D. D comes in two forms: D2, which is plant-derived and often found in fortified foods and D3, naturally produced by our bodies.

 Too much of a good thing could be bad, so it’s important to talk to your doctor. A simple test can indicate any deficiencies, and he/she can make a proper recommendation on how much you need. If you’re looking for something that fits into your healthy lifestyle, check out our vitamin D supplements.

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