Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Vitamin D and the immune system are known to have close ties. The nutrient can be obtained from food, vitamins, or by sunlight. By building a strong immune system with exercise, diet, and sufficient vitamin D, the body will fight off disease, stimulate bacteria-fighting cells, and improve general quality of life.
It is important to get enough sunlight for sufficient vitamin D in the immune system. Exercising outside is a great way to get natural vitamin D — most vitamin D is produced naturally by sunlight intake. In the colder winter months, multivitamins or supplements may be a good idea for sufficient intake. Once sufficient vitamin D is routinely in the body, the immune system can begin to adapt to battle viruses and bacteria. Vitamin D is also important in calcium absorption.
Vitamin D and the immune system rely on T cells to detect and kill foreign pathogens. The nutrient stimulates these cells into action and helps immune system deficiencies. Without sufficient vitamin D, the body has difficulty motivating these T cells and makes a person more prone to bacteria-driven illnesses and viruses. T cells must be stimulated to target invading bacteria.
Two types of immune cells tie Vitamin D and the immune system together. Successfully activated T cells can become either killer cells that destroy all cells carrying foreign pathogens, or they can become helper cells assisting in the immune system’s acquisition of memory. T cells must have vitamin D for activation to take place. Immune response can greatly improve when T cells are stimulated.
Identifying this role of vitamin D in the activation of T cells is a major breakthrough. Recent findings on vitamin D’s extensive role in boosting the immune system may also play a key role in developing new vaccines, which work by training the immune system to react against the body’s deficiencies. It also provides a better understanding of autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes. Researchers can now determine the chemical steps necessary to transform a cell from active to inactive. Doctors may eventually be able to commence this process based on each patient's vitamin D and the immune system.
A person can consult his or her doctor for an analysis of vitamin D and the immune system. Health food stores carry quality vitamin D supplements, which people can take on a daily basis to ensure the sufficient amount of vitamin D. Cod liver oil, many types of seafood, soy, and eggs are all foods that are high in vitamin D.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!