How Does Vitamin D Affect The Immune System
What is vitamin D?
The sun vitamin! Vitamin D is famed for being one of the only vitamins you get from the sun. And by “get from the sun” we mean that the UV rays in the sun cause your body to make Vitamin D from naturally occurring cholesterol.
You can also get vitamin D from diet and supplementation.
Vitamin D is known for its role in bone health and also in energy and mood, but what many people don’t know is that it also plays an important role in the human immune system.
But before we get into it, let’s start with a few basics.
You may have seen Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2 but what’s the difference? It’s simple. Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources and Vitamin D2 comes from plant sources.
Studies suggest that when it comes to dietary intake, Vitamin D3 has more of an effect on blood levels.
Now how do your vitamin D levels affect the health of your immune system?
If you don’t know the basics of the immune system, read this quick guide.
Studies have found that vitamin D is key in supporting innate and adaptive immunity, which can both be compromised when deficient in vitamin D.
And given the turn of events 2020 has thrown us, not only is it important to have our immune systems in tip top shape but as many are spending more and more time indoors (hello #iso), they are getting less vitamin D from the sun too.
Low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased risk of infection and auto-immunity.
And the vitamin D receptor (something that binds vitamin D) can be found on immune cells like B cells and T cells.
Additionally, immune cells express vitamin D-activating enzymes. Ok that sounds a bit science-y but what this means is that the cells of our immune system have the ability to produce substances (enzymes) that allow vitamin D to do its job.
This means vitamin D is shown to play a role in immune homeostasis, which is a term that basically means keeping everything in balance.
So what does this mean for you?
Well it means that Vitamin D is something you should absolutely be keeping on top of. Because deficiency of this vitamin can compromise your health in many ways.
It’s always a good idea to check your blood levels of vitamin D through a blood test. Did you know that an estimated 23% of Australians are deficient in Vitamin D? Pretty crazy considering how much we all love the outdoors.
If a blood test shows your levels are low, you may be at risk of multiple symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
Where do you get vitamin D?
Like we said earlier, our bodies actually produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Pretty cool right?
And of course, we can get vitamin D from food too. Some great sources are oily fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon and you can also get dietary vitamin D from liver, spinach, kale and eggs.
Vitamin D supplements can be an effective way to increase levels for many people.
It’s an often forgotten supplement, but hopefully you can see now just how important it is! And that’s the story on Vitamin D! And if you were wondering, our ImmuneBare has 1000IU of Vitamin D3 in just one serving.