Vitamin D has in recent times come under greater scrutiny for its role in immunity. And it appears that the role has even greater connotations that previously thought. According to peer-reviewed published articles of US NAtional Library of MEdicine, without vitamin D we are at an increased risk of developing a host of infections when serum levels are not at par.
All vitamins play a huge part in helping us maintain homeostasis and subsequent health. Their specific roles are in a constant state of evolution and more and more research is being done and a plethora of new information comes to light.
In the age of “the virus” and many other bugs that seeks to injure us, our immune system is called upon to soldier up and defend its home. Information is constantly being passed down through various sources referencing the use of vitamins, more recently, vitamins C, D and zinc.
We know from past teachings that these vitamins play a pivotal role in boosting our immune systems and indeed this information is more crucial in the times we currently find ourselves in.
Vitamin D is mainly obtained from our diet and or formed in our skin. This process is influenced by many factors, the presence or exposure to sunlight, our skin tone and the melanin contained therein.
Both the liver and the kidneys play an important and active role in converting inactive vitamin D to active vitamin D allowing it to be available for cellular uptake and use.
Per the US Library of medicine, “There is in vitro evidence that vitamin D is involved in immune cell responses to some viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens.”
There is evidence according to cebm, that respiratory epithelial cells can convert inactive vitamin D to its active form. And that the metabolites created as a byproduct of its metabolism is directly involved in the immunity response to respiratory viruses.
- Children younger than four years old.
- Women, especially young, pregnant and breastfeeding.
- Older adults greater than 65 yrs of age
- Little exposure to sunlight
- Darker skin tones
- Inability to consume dairy and other vit. D fortified foods
Vitamin D rich foods
For additional food sources for vitamin D click here.
Daily recommended dose
|Life Stage||Recommended Amount|
|Birth to 12 months||10 mcg (400 IU)|
|Children 1–13 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|Teens 14–18 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|Adults 19–70 years||15 mcg (600 IU)|
|Adults 71 years and older||20 mcg (800 IU)|
|Pregnant and breastfeeding women||15 mcg (600 IU)|
Table above copied from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/#
Our immune systems are tasked with a most important job of defending us from invaders both foreign and domestic. It promotes immunity and under normal circumstances it does not do harm to itself (https://www.cebm.net/).
Historically vitamin D has been renowned for its function in calcium uptake and bone health. Vitamin D does this by increasing the absorption of calcium from our diet via our small intestines. It stimulates osteoclast activity (osteoclasts are cells within the bones responsible for bone resorption).
The Centers for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM), states that evidence of low vitamin D serum levels are with higher occurrences of acute respiratory infection rates.
Healthline states that a deficiency in vitamin D is linked to poor lung function. This would certainly play a role in your ability to be susceptible to and your recovery from opportunistic infections.
We need those lungs healthy and able to work efficiently.
There it is prudent to conscientiously take your vitamins, get enough sunlight, nutritious diet, rest and exercise and be as healthy as you can be.
Remember you may also take vitamin D as an oral supplement.
God bless you, be well.