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The Specific Type of Infection Vitamin D can Prevent.

While vitamin D is crucial to an optimally functioning immune system, a Cochrane study found that it may completely prevent one particular type of infection...

This blog teaches:

  • The best way to take your Vitamin D supplement, and how much to take. 
  • Potential signs that you could use more vitamin D. 
  • The observed relationship between vitamin D and autoimmune disorders.
  • How vitamin D could help combat depression and anxiety.
  • The type of infection that a Cochrane study found can be prevented with Vitamin D. 

The sunshine vitamin.

Many people will know Vitamin D as “the sunshine vitamin!” Why? Because we receive it from the sun!

Well, not quite. We actually make it ourselves, with the sun’s help. 

When UV rays interact with a protein in our skin, our body starts naturally producing vitamin D3, the active form of Vitamin D.

This is the best source of vitamin D and we always suggest trying to get the vitamins and minerals you need from a natural source before you start supplementing with capsules. 

Remember, supplements are meant to do just that; supplement... Not act as the foundation of your diet. 

However, many of us don’t get outside enough even when the weather is nice. Finding sunshine in the middle of winter can be a challenge for many, and for some in cold-weather states, it may feel impossible! Either way ,supplementation with vitamin D is almost inevitable. 

That’s why our Master Herbalist, Stacey Littlefield, has created this guide explaining how to best take vitamin D, how much is necessary, and all the different ways it can benefit your body.  

The best way to take vitamin D. 

Stacey implores you to always try to take your vitamin D with food. 

While taking it without may not be harmful, it can definitely make it less effective. 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. If it isn’t taken with food, it can be quite difficult for your body to absorb. 

It’s also important to note that it is fat-soluble; as opposed to water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C, of which your body releases any excess. Because Vitamin D gets stored in the body, it’s important to monitor your intake so that you don’t consume toxic levels of this vitamin! 

Megadosing between 20,000-50,000 IU of Vitamin D could result in some big health issues.

This raises the obvious question…

How much vitamin D should I take?

Stacey insists that your doctor should always have the last word on how much vitamin D is appropriate for your body. 

However, many of us do need more than we think. Over 40% of the adult population suffers from insufficient levels of vitamin D. 

The recommended dosage of vitamin D is a big contention in the medical world. While the RDI suggests most adults take around 800 IU per day, many consider this far too low. 

In fact, this study suggested that 4,000 IU per day may be necessary for older people. 

Potential signs that you could use more vitamin D. 

As we said, your doctor should be the person to consult regarding what vitamin D you may or may not need.

However, there are signs that might alert you to the possibility that your levels are low. They can include, but are not limited to:

  • Bone pain.
  • Muscle weakness, aches, and cramps. 
  • General feelings of fatigue.
  • Mood swings.

Vitamin D and our immune health.

It has been speculated for many years that vitamin D plays an important role in our immune system; but it wasn’t until recently that we started making progress on what that role actually is. 

One of the responsibilities of vitamin D is to assist with cell differentiation. 

All of our blood cells, including our white blood cells (also known as immune cells) come from a particular stem cell.  Vitamin D helps the body recognize which type of cell is which, such as distinguishing neutrophils from helper T cells, and sending them to the appropriate part of the body. 

Observational studies have also suggested that populations with a higher vitamin D count have a lower chance of developing autoimmune diseases.

Similarly, when comparing populations with the same autoimmune disease, it was found that the population with lower vitamin D levels had more severe cases of the autoimmune disease.

Finally, a Cochrane study found that supplementing with vitamin D can not only prevent but also reduce the severity of acute respiratory tract infection!

Vitamin D and our mental health. 

Many of us seem to feel better when the sun is shining… well, that may not be a coincidence! Vitamin D could play an important role in our mental health. 

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

Observational studies have highlighted an inverse relationship between our vitamin D levels and our likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety. 

This is corroborated by our knowledge of vitamin D being partially responsible for the synthesis of serotonin, a chemical key to our well-being and happiness! 

Vitamin D also plays a role in the systems of other neurotransmitters that are inextricably linked to our emotional well-being, such as dopamine and glutamine norepinephrine. 

That’s why we knew it was imperative to include 2000 IU of vitamin D in our formula for In•Joy™, a natural supplement for supporting a positive mood and emotional strength. 

Vitamin D and bone health. 

Stacey wants you to know that as important as vitamin D is to protecting our emotional health and immune system, it is also vital for optimal bone health. In fact, vitamin D deficiencies can often manifest as bone-related disorders such as rickets or osteoporosis. 

This is because our bones need minerals like calcium and phosphorous in order to stay strong and prevent softening. 

Vitamin D’s job is to help our intestines absorb calcium from the foods we eat, which in turn raises our calcium levels, and helps strengthen our bones!

It’s a key component of Bone Health Advanced™, our own formula for maintaining optimal bone health. 

Stacey’s summary: 

  • Always consult your doctor on how much vitamin D you may need to take. 
  • Almost half of the population is deficient in vitamin D and could use more than the RDI.
  • Vitamin D helps the body differentiate between different immune cells. 
  • Vitamin D can not only prevent but also reduce the severity of acute respiratory tract infection.
  • Observational studies have linked low vitamin D levels to higher risk of autoimmune disorders, depression, and anxiety. 
  • Your bones can’t get the calcium they need without adequate vitamin D levels. 

Curious to learn about misconceptions behind other popular immune-boosting supplements? Check out Stacey’s low-down on vitamin C, zinc, and elderberry here!

Want to know more about Stacey?

If you’d like to hear more about our incredible Master Herbalist, check out her bio on our team page here!

 

* Featured Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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