Why You Should Be Taking Vitamin D for ImmunityVitamin D is best known for its role in promoting calcium homeostasis and bone health.  But vitamin D, which is actually a hormone and not a vitamin when active, enables your body to produce over 200 antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides fight against bacteria, viruses and fungi, making them indispensable for your immune system. In fact, a press release from a study out of Oregon State University explains that the ability of vitamin D to regulate anti-bacterial proteins is so important that it has been a key feature of the immune system for almost 60 million years. In other words, it has been conserved throughout evolution and is only shared by primates and humans – but no other known species. Pretty cool, right? Researchers say that the fact that it’s been retained through millions of years of evolution suggests it’s critical to survival. The only alarming part is, more than 75 percent of children and adults in the U.S. are deficient in vitamin D!
How To Make Sure You Get Enough Of The Sunshine VitaminNow you know the importance of vitamin D not just for bone health, but for immunity too. So how are you going to ensure that you are getting enough?
- Find out what enough means for you: I recommend asking your doctor for a circulating vitamin D blood test. This will tell you exactly what level you have in your bloodstream. Guessing at your vitamin D needs is not smart, especially if you have low bone density.
- Get outside: The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. There is less of it during the winter months, but just 15 minutes per day can make up to 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU of vitamin D! Unfortunately, if you live above the 37th parallel (or anywhere north of Los Angeles) you won’t be getting much vitamin D from November to March.
- Include dietary sources of vitamin D: Good vitamin D rich foods include cold-water, fatty fish like wild salmon and tuna, mushrooms and eggs.
- Supplement: There is 1600 IU of vitamin D3 in a daily dose AlgaeCal Plus. In addition to vitamin D, other vitamins such as K2 should be taken together as they interact synergistically to support strong bones. They also work well with other minerals like magnesium and zinc. AlgaeCal Plus contains full meaningful doses of all these nutrients.
- Aranow C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research. 2011;59(6):881-886. doi:10.231/JIM.0b013e31821b8755.
- Ginde AA, Liu MC, Camargo CA, Jr. Demographic Differences and Trends of Vitamin D Insufficiency in the US Population, 1988-2004. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(6):626-632. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.604.