Healthy Bones, Teeth and Immunity.
We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. These minerals are essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
According to the NHS, a lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
During the spring and summer months, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight. However, in the UK, the winter sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to be able to make vitamin D. During these months, we rely on getting our vitamin D from food sources and supplements. Using sunbeds is not a recommended way of making vitamin D.
Other Benefits of Vitamin D include
1) VITAMIN D: A MODULATOR OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
This nutrient has long been recognised for its essential role in maintaining healthy bones and aiding calcium absorption. However, recent research has shed light on its involvement in modulating the immune system. The immune cells in our body possess vitamin D receptors, enabling them to respond to its presence.
2) ENHANCING THE INNATE IMMUNE RESPONSE
Vitamin D is pivotal in the innate immune response, the body’s first line of defence against pathogens. It helps activate and regulate the production of antimicrobial peptides, which are small proteins with antimicrobial properties. These peptides help destroy invading microorganisms and prevent their spread.
3) STRENGTHENING ADAPTIVE IMMUNITY
In addition to its impact on innate immunity, this nutrient also influences adaptive immunity, the branch of the immune system responsible for long-term immune memory. It assists in developing and functioning T-cells and B-cells, which are vital for recognising and eliminating specific pathogens. By supporting the adaptive immune response, vitamin D aids in the prevention of chronic infections.
4) REDUCING INFLAMMATION
Excessive inflammation can disrupt immune balance and contribute to various autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, helping to regulate and suppress excessive inflammatory responses. By doing so, it assists in maintaining immune homeostasis and reducing the risk of autoimmune conditions.
5) SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD) AND IMMUNITY
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression linked to changes in seasons, often occurs due to decreased exposure to sunlight. Since sunlight exposure is a primary source of vitamin D synthesis in our bodies, individuals with low vitamin D levels may be more susceptible to SAD. It is worth noting that SAD can have indirect effects on the immune system, potentially compromising its efficiency.
Vitamin D is found in a small number of food sources:
- oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and fresh tuna
- red meat
- egg yolks
- fortified foods – such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals
Another source is dietary supplements.
Cytoplan is a stand-out supplement company in the UK. With three decades of dedicated commitment, they have crafted a collection of supplements sourced ethically and sustainably. This includes a diverse array, spanning multivitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, individual vitamins, and beyond.
You can buy their wholefood vegan vitamin D3 supplement, which provides vitamin D3 from lichen, making it ideal for vegetarians and vegans in our Durham practice.
One tablet provides 62.5µg (2500i.u.) of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is the most bioavailable form of this nutrient.
First Published: 7th November 2019
Updated: 1st July 2023
Latest Update: 29th November 2023