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Vitamin D and Your Immune System
Vitamin D could rightly be described as a “miracle nutrient” for your immune system, as it enables your body to produce well over 200 antimicrobial proteins, which are indispensable in fighting off a wide range of infections.
The active form of vitamin D is one of the most potent hormones in your body, and regulates more genes and bodily functions than any other hormone yet discovered.
Without this hormone, you could die, and indeed, many do die from vitamin D deficiency related causes.
Our body's immune system is hard-wired to fight off infectious organisms naturally; assuming an adequate supply of vitamin D and other key nutrients are available.
Furthermore, ultraviolet radiation exposure from the sun, which stimulates the production of vitamin D in your skin, has been shown to reduce the incidence of viral respiratory infections, along with with a wide range other health conditions.
To optimise your vitamin D levels, you need to expose large portions of your skin to the sun. The middle of the day between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. is the best and safest time. During this UVB-intense period, you will need the shortest sun exposure time to produce the most vitamin D. You only need enough to have your skin turn the lightest shade of pink. This may only be a few minutes for those who have very fair skin, the darker your skin, the longer the exposure you will need to optimise your vitamin D production.
If sun exposure is not an option, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken.
Leading vitamin D experts from around the world currently agree that the most important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level. So you really should be taking whatever dosage is required to obtain a therapeutic level of vitamin D in your blood.
VITAMIN D SERUM LEVELS – 25 HYDROXY D
Deficient less than 50ng/ml Optimal 50 – 70ng/ml Treatment for Cancer and Heart Disease 70 – 100ng/ml Over Load greater than 100ng/ml
If you don’t know your vitamin D serum level, or you have never had your vitamin D levels tested, you should consider doing so very soon, as simply assuming your levels are in the healthy range is quite risky.
Vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic proportions around the world today, largely because people do not spend enough time in the sun to facilitate this important process of vitamin D production, which is an unfortunate by-product of misguided advice to stay out of the sun to avoid cancer, when in fact vitamin D from sun exposure will prevent cancer. Another obvious reason is that the majority of us work indoors, and when not working, do not spend enough time enjoying outdoor recreation.
Your best defence against any disease is a robust immune system. So supporting your immune system should always be at the top of your list, and vitamin D is one crucial component of this.