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Vitamin D Supplements for Immune System

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is not just a vitamin but also a steroid hormone. It is needed by the body for many functions. It is found in certain amounts of foods but is mostly made by our body when our skin comes into contact with the sun. As we all know sun in Ireland is something we don’t get enough of, and so once the Summer days are over and the winter starts to creep in Vitamin D deficiency becomes a thing a lot of people can get and can be prevented by taking a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D has numerous benefits in the body but in particular in boosting the immune system therefore making it even more important to take a Vitamin D supplement in the Winter to prevent colds and flus.

How Can a Vitamin D Supplement Help my Immune System?

Vitamin D Supplements can help maintain sufficient levels of Vitamin D. This helps reduce your risk of infectious disease by helping to strengthen the innate immune system. Vitamin D helps trigger a strong anti-microbial response by turning on key peptides in your immune system, which allows the body to quickly and efficiently fight off invaders before they develop into a full-blown infection.

T cells are cells produced by the immune system. These are the special ops of the immune system. Auto immune diseases are becoming more prevalent. They are caused when the immune system begins to attack itself by not being able to differentiate between invaders and healthy cells. Vitamin D supplements can help prevent autoimmune disease by regulating T cells. These cells are responsible for this differentiation. When promoted by Vitamin D, they make your immune system smarter, preventing autoimmune disease by teaching the body not to attack itself. Although research in this area is fairly recent, there are numerous studies that show higher incidences of autoimmune disease and greater progression of autoimmune disease among people with Vitamin D deficiency. Taking Vitamin D supplements helps to prevent Vitamin D deficiency therefore helping to prevent autoimmune disease.

Inflammation is a process carried out by the immune system in response to various factors, poor diet, stress, smoking, alcohol, bacteria, viruses, injury etc. Chronic inflammation is the causative factor in many types of disease such as arthritis, IBS, cancers, hepatitis, asthma along with many more. Vitamin D supplements can help with inflammation as Vitamin D helps control inflammation. Several studies have shown the effects of vitamin D supplements on inflammatory cells and processes. In vitro, vitamin D has been shown to prevent immune cells from releasing inflammatory cytokines. Vitamin D supplements also suppress the proliferation and stimulatory abilities of T cells and monocytes, and downregulates proinflammatory cytokines, including C reactive protein (CRP), tumour necrosis factor α, interleukin, while upregulating anti-inflammatory cytokines. This all can help in the prevention of inflammatory disease making Vitamin D supplements an important additive to everyone’s daily needs.

Vitamin D has also been studied against the Influenza virus. In one study it was found to reduce the incidence of flu amongst people and in another in the study in people who had contracted the virus, it improved recovery time from nine days to two days, making Vitamin D supplements a good help in preventing the flu.

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