Immune health is a vital component of overall health. In fact, without the immune system functioning at its best, all other systems in the body would falter in the presence of pathogens that have made it through due to a lack of proper immune response. When the body is able to fight off infection properly, it leaves all the body’s other systems to do their respective jobs and maintain a consistent level of wellness.
Many vitamins play a role in immune health, but some are more important than others. For example, vitamin C is often hailed as a great immune booster, but it’s not the be-all-end-all when it comes to keeping immune function running as it should. Vitamin D3 is one such vitamin that is a great immune assistant, but doesn’t get talked about as often as it should when it comes to the vitamins that keep the body’s defenses up to par.
What is the role of vitamin D in the immune system?
Vitamin D has a direct role to play in bone homeostasis and the way the body absorbs calcium, but that’s not the only thing it can do. Studies have shown that the nutrient can also help regulate both the innate and adaptive immune responses in the body by acting as an autocrine signaler for B and T cells and antigen-presenting cells.
When it comes to protective immunity, vitamin D has been shown to be a great assistant. Prior to the use of antibiotics on tuberculosis, some patients were seeing great improvements in their conditions after exposure to sunlight. Doctors had assumed that sunlight killed TB; however, it is now thought that the increase in vitamin D levels was the catalyst for healing.
It has also been found that a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to increased risk for developing autoimmunity, the process that occurs when the body signals an immune response to its own cells that pose no threat. Not having enough vitamin D can also lead to a higher risk of frequent infections.
What are the benefits of vitamin D?
Vitamin D isn’t just good for bone health and the immune system. According to studies, the vitamin can actually help ward off further diseases, including decreasing the risk of developing heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and the flu. It has also been shown to help fibromyalgia patients manage their symptoms.
Those who suffer from depression may also see an improvement in their symptoms if they increase their levels of vitamin D. Research has shown that the nutrient acts as a mood regulator, and that those who took vitamin D supplements during treatment for their mental illness saw a higher reduction in negative symptoms than those who did not. Vitamin D deficiency is also common in those who suffer from anxiety.
Another novel benefit of vitamin D is weight loss. One study found that weight loss group participants were able to see a larger reduction in weight when they added both calcium and vitamin D supplements to their regimen. It was suggested that this is because the supplements acted as appetite suppressants, leading to less consumed calories and more weight lost.
Does vitamin D help with illness?
As mentioned above, vitamin D holds a myriad of different health benefits when it comes to illnesses such as declining mental health, heart disease, and the common flu. This is due to its ability to help activate immune markers and keep the body free of pathogens.
In the current state of the COVID-era world, ensuring the body has enough vitamin D has never been more important, primarily due to its ability to keep the immune response functioning as it should. In terms of common illnesses such as colds and flu, many studies have evidenced the role of vitamin D as both a preventative method as well as a treatment. Other chronic health issues could also benefit from vitamin D, including heart disease, certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes.
How much vitamin D should I take for immune system health?
The amount of vitamin D you take for your immune system will be entirely dependent on your current levels. It’s always important to assess how much you need prior to beginning a new supplementation plan. That being said, there are general amounts that can be taken to ensure that you’re getting enough and not becoming vitamin D deficient.
For adults, between 600 to 800 IU per day should be an adequate amount, whereas children would need between 400 and 600 IU per day. Those deficient in the nutrient may need to begin with more supplementation to return to healthy levels. For people with bone health disorders, more vitamin D may be needed to ensure that calcium and phosphorous are being absorbed thoroughly enough to manage symptoms.
The Immune Health Subscription Box
The Vital RX Immune Health Subscription Box is equipped with high-quality ingredients to help ensure your immune health stays up to par throughout the winter months and all year round. The inclusion of Vitamin D3 in the Immune Health box was carefully considered by our team of doctors to give the immune system the extra boost it needs.
Vitamin D is a vital component to overall bone and immune health, and can even keep infection and chronic illness at bay. The best way to avoid deficiency is by ensuring you get the recommended daily dosage every single day.