Vitamin D Keeps Infections At Bay
There is no bigger proponent of Vitamin D then Health Freedom Alliance. When new studies come out we are the first to publish them. Adding to the multiple health benefits of vitamin D is the latest research, which indicates the nutrient is an effective tool in building up the immune system to help ward off viruses and other infections.
Lead author of the research, Professor Carsten Geisler, from the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen stated, “We knew vitamin D was important for calcium absorption and fighting diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis – but we didn’t realize how crucial it was for activating the immune system.”
According to researchers, Vitamin D is crucial for the activation of T cells that guard the body against serious infection.
Without an adequate amount of the nutrient, the T cells remain dormant and are unable to identify, directly attack or destroy infections allowing bacteria to invade.
Explaining the role of vitamin D in helping the immune system of the body, the researchers stated, “When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or ‘antenna’ known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D. This means that the T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease. If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won’t even begin to mobilize. ”
In the case of flu infection, the scientists stated that vitamin D helps produce antibacterial peptides that shields against flu.
That is why a lack of sunshine in winters leads to a deficiency of vitamin D and people get infected with flu viruses.
According to researchers, recognizing the role of Vitamin D for immunity is an important breakthrough which could be vital to fight anti-immune reactions of the body.
It would also help suppress the natural defense of the body to prevent organ rejection after transplants and lead to new ways to combat infectious diseases on a global scale.
Professor Geisler stated, “They will be of particular use when developing new vaccines, which work precisely on the basis of both training our immune systems to react and suppressing the body’s natural defences in situations where this is important – as is the case with organ transplants and autoimmune disease.”
The findings are published in the latest edition of Nature Immunology.
A little about vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods but is available as a dietary supplement.
It may be obtained in the recommended amount with a well-balanced diet, including some enriched or fortified foods. It can also be found in fish liver oil, eggs and fatty fish and supplements.
The body manufactures vitamin D when exposed to sunshine, but people are spending more time indoors and are deficient of the nutrient. Experts recommend 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times a week.
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