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  • Dan Shipman

Get some sun!! I mean Vitamin D

We are all trying to keep ourselves as healthy as possible right now. One thing that can help us all is Vitamin D!!


We tend to think of Vitamin D for calcium homeostasis and to promote bone health but what if I told you it has some major roles in the health of our immune system.


According to an article by Cynthia Aranow it has a very large role with the immune system.


Unknowingly Vitamin D was used to treat tuberculosis before the advent of antibiotics. They would send people to sanatoriums where part of their treatment was exposure to the sun. And remember the sun is one way we humans get Vitamin D.(1)


One report studied almost 19,000 subjects between 1988 and 1994. They found individuals with lower Vitamin D levels were more likely to self-report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels.(1)


One study released in 2010, called "Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren", showed a therapeutic dose of Vitamin D resulted in a statistically significant (42%) decrease in the the incidence of the influenza infection.(1)


What you need to know about Vitamin D's interaction with the body is this...

  • The role that vitamin D plays in keeping the immune system healthy is very complex because the immune system has to be perfectly balanced. If there is too much stimulation, autoimmune diseases can set in. If there is not enough immune system activity, frequent infections can occur.(2)

  • Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with both extremes, and low levels of vitamin D have been associated with worsening autoimmune diseases. Low levels of vitamin D are not the underlying cause of the autoimmune disease, but low levels of vitamin D can make autoimmune disease states worse.(2)

So you to help us all stay heathly during this pandemic and in the future, make sure you are getting your Vitamin D. Sources include:

  • The sun

  • Dairy

  • Fatty fish - tuna, mackeral, salmon

  • Shiitake Mushrooms

  • Eggs


What about supplementation?

You can supplement with Vitamin D, although the ability of your body to absorb this will be lower than from the natural sources above.


So the easiest way is for us to get outside for some sun right now. Even if it is just in your own yard right now!


Stay safe and healthy!!


References-

  1. Aranow, Cynthia. “Vitamin D and the Immune System.” Journal of Investigative Medicine : the Official Publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/.

  2. Siska, Gunda. “Vitamin D Boosts the Immune System.” Pharmacy Times, 20 Sept. 2019, www.pharmacytimes.com/news/vitamin-d-helps-the-immune-system-during-cold-and-flu-season.

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