Vitamin D and the Immune System

You have most likely seen or heard about “Vitamin D” in the last year more than you had in the previous five years combined. The devastating impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic was something nobody had predicted at the start of 2020. Since then, many of us have attempted to ensure we are as protected as possible.

Understandably, there has been an increased consumer demand for vitamins which is increasing as each day passes. Supporting our immune health is now a primary concern for many of us with the hopes that our immune systems are protected against any illnesses/viruses. Vitamin D, in all its glory, has been all over various news outlets and has been brought to the attention of many, it has been recommended by scientists.

In this piece, we will explain the role vitamin D has on your immune system and why exactly Vitamin D is so prevalent right now.

The best place to start off with is to dive right into what vitamin D actually is.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so it is absorbed and carried through the body in fat globules. There are four fat soluble vitamins and these are stored in the body within cells and tissues.

There are two forms of vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D2 – Man made, usually added to foods or supplements.
  • Vitamin D3 – Natural form also known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’. This is because it is produced in our skin in response to sunlight.

Vitamin D deficiency is something that is prevalent in the UK especially due to the lack of sun we get!

There are a few factors that may stop us from getting the vitamin D our bodies require such as spending time indoors, being in a highly polluted area as well as living in cities where buildings may block the sunlight. In addition to this, the higher levels of melanin one has, the less vitamin D one can absorb. In the UK, it is very difficult to get the sufficient vitamin D which is why supplements are a big help!

Vitamin D is mostly known for the great benefits it provides for our bones and teeth as well as maintaining muscle function. However, it also plays a role in immune function and reducing inflammation.

So how does Vitamin D benefit our immune system?

Vitamin D is able to incite a greater production of T cells. T cells find and destroy foreign pathogens such as viruses. This in turn makes Vitamin D key to help our bodies fight against infections and foreign pathogens. If we maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D we could be giving our bodies the boost it requires to fight different types of infections.

There are a few ways we can all aid our immune systems alongside supplements. We can do the following :

  • Exercise – Exercising regularly helps clearing out toxins from your body. This helps reducing your chances of catching a flu or cold.
  • Sleep – Not getting enough sleep could raise the likelihood of getting ill or sick. Most adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. Letting the body reset is key for good health.
  • Hydrate – Dehydration can make us more susceptible to illness. Drinking plenty of water throughout day is the key to prevent this.
  • Healthy Diet – Eating foods such as fruits, veg, seeds, nuts, etc that contain plenty of nutrients could give as a big boost against pathogens that could harm us. Eating these foods is crucial for better health.
  • Supplements – Supplements can help fight against viral infections. However it is important to emphasise the importance of purchasing from a brand you can trust.

We hope this piece has given you more of an understanding on Vitamin D and its role on the immune system.

Thanks for reading!