More Reasons to Make Sure You are Getting

Enough Vitamin D

Denmark researchers have found that if we aren’t getting enough Vitamin D our bodies are less able to fight infection.

If you want to keep your immune system strong and healthy, it is key to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D.  For quite some time health news has been circulating that lack of Vitamin D is linked to a variety of diseases and ailments including depression, breast cancer, osteoporosis, chronic pain, and heart disease.

A new research study out of Copenhagen, Denmark has presented yet another reason why you should get as much Vitamin D as possible.  Scientists have found that this vitamin is necessary to activate the T cells (often also called “killer cells”) in our immune system. Although their name may cause you to think that killer cells are to be avoided, they actually are important to have in your system as they seek out and destroy diseased cells.  When your body has ample levels of Vitamin D, these killer cells can work in your benefit to fight elements that could potentially do you harm.

In the research study, Professor Carsten Geisler and his team traced PLC-gamma1, a molecule that allows the cell to fight disease. They found that when cells are not activated by Vitamin D, they barely express PLC-gamma1. However, when Vitamin D is received, the PLC-gamma1 increases by over 75%.

According to the scientists, “Scientists have known for a long time that vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and the vitamin has also been implicated in diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, but what we didn’t realize is how crucial vitamin D is for actually activating the immune system – which we know now.”

As my readers know, I have been consistently advising people to consume Vitamin D for years.  So how do you get more Vitamin D into your system? The best way to get Vitamin D is to increase your exposure to sunlight.  Just 5-30 minutes of sun exposure can greatly increase the amount of D in your system.  This means that you don’t even necessarily have to go sunbathing, just a short walk on your lunch break will do the trick.  Now remember not to use sunscreen, as it typically contains cancer-causing agents.

Unless you are living in an area that is sunny year-round like Florida or San Diego, the best way to get Vitamin D in the winter months is through your diet and supplements.  There aren’t a ton of foods that contain Vitamin D, so choose carefully. Some healthy choices that I like to recommend include dandelion greens, oatmeal, low mercury tuna and sweet potatoes.

While the recommended dose of Vitamin D is 200 IU for people up to age 50 and 400 IU for people between 51-70, a general rule of thumb is to get as much Vitamin D as you can.  Make sure you get enough exposure to sunlight and be sure to include healthy foods containing Vitamin D in your diet

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 3rd April 2010

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