Vitamin D & Immune Function
Vitamin D is slightly different to other vitamins because it is a hormone made by your body in a chemical reaction which occurs when your skin is exposed to sunlight.
For this reason, it is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. However, it is only created by your body if youre exposed to adequate levels of sunlight. Supplementing with vitamin D during the months with less sun could help you boost your immune system.
Vitamin D and your immune system play crucial roles in many functions within your body. Your immune system is your bodys first line of defense against infection and disease so its important to ensure that youre not experiencing low levels of nutrients like vitamin D. Low levels could lead to deficiencies which can cause detrimental side effects.
Vitamin D plays a role in the proper functioning of t cells, b cells and dendritic cells which are all key to immune function and protecting your body from disease.
In addition, Vitamin D helps your body to effectively absorb calcium which helps your body to maintain healthy bones.
Effects Of Antioxidant Vitamins On Immunity
It has been known for more than 30 years that some vitamins with antioxidant properties, including vitamin A, vitamin B6 , vitamin C and particularly vitamin E, have protective effects on animal models of atherosclerosis and ischaemia-reperfusion injury . Vitamin E collectively refers to eight related compounds , of which -tocopherol has the greatest bioavailability and is the best characterized. Vitamin E decreases the release of reactive oxygen species by monocytes and the expression of CD11b and very late antigen 4 , thereby decreasing monocyte adhesion to the endothelium. Vitamin E also blocks the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6, TNF and the chemokine IL-8, by monocytes and macrophages,. Moreover, vitamin E prevents the upregulation of the adhesion molecules vascular cell-adhesion molecule 1 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 on the endothelium induced by oxidized low-density lipo protein and IL-1, as well as the upregulation of E-selectin and some chemokines. Reactive oxygen species activate the nuclear factor-B pathway, which initiates many pro-inflammatory events. Therefore, the therapeutic antioxidant effect of these vitamins could be explained, at least in part, by their capacity to decrease NF-B activation.
What Can You Do To Boost Your Immune System
The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies make sense since they likely help immune function and they come with other proven health benefits.
Immunity in action. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens as shown above, where two bacteria that cause gonorrhea are no match for the large phagocyte, called a neutrophil, that engulfs and kills them .
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Le Lien Qui Existe Entre Votre Sant Intestinale Et Votre Systme Immunitaire
La santé de votre tractus gastro-intestinal est directement liée à la santé et au fonctionnement de votre système immunitaire. Le microbiome, lui, est un ensemble de micro-organismes que lon trouve principalement dans lintestin. À titre dexemple, vos bactéries intestinales jouent de nombreux rôles importants dans votre organisme. En effet, elles régulent votre métabolisme, votre humeur, vos fonctions cognitives, votre appétit, votre digestion et votre immunité1. Tout comme pour le microbiome, qui vit en majorité dans lintestin, environ 70 % du système immunitaire sy trouve aussi1.Et cest parfait ainsi puisque cest par là même où de nombreux agents pathogènes, y compris les virus, les parasites et les bactéries nocives, pénètrent dans lorganisme.
Une relation symbiotique
Le système immunitaire et lintestin entretiennent une relation symbiotique.Cela signifie que le système immunitaire et le microbiome humains bénéficient tous deux de cette connexion.Les bonnes bactéries qui font partie du microbiome entraînent les cellules immunitaires à reconnaître les agents pathogènes, tandis que lintestin signale au système immunitaire de générer les réponses immunitaires appropriées2. Le système immunitaire, quant à lui, contribue à maintenir un microbiome diversifié et en santé2. Cette délicate communication bidirectionnelle entre votre intestin et vos cellules immunitaires peut être favorisée par des choix de vie judicieux et des nutriments spécifiques.
Foods That Support Immune Health
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale have vitamin C which helps support the immune system.
Eat fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel to increase your vitamin D intake.
Oysters, Red Meat and Poultry
Foods like oysters, red meat and poultry are all good sources of zinc.
Oranges and other citrus fruits contain vitamin C for immune support.
Fresh fruits like strawberries and cantaloupe are a great source of vitamin C.
Fortified grains, juices, or dairy
Breakfast cereals, orange juice, and milk products are often fortified with vitamin D and other good-for-you ingredients to help support your immune system.
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The Importance Of Vitamins For Our Health
We tend to underestimate the importance that vitamins have in our health. The biggest danger here is eating always the same thing and forgetting about variety in our diets. This greatly limits our vitamin intake, thus leaving us defenseless against virus and infections.
In order to be protected against the flu and other infections, the key is having a strong and resistant immune system. For most people, this means keeping an eye on variety and having a diet high in all of the aforementioned foods. Do you already take vitamins to boost your immune system?
From now on, try to include foods into your diet that have vitamins A, B, C, and E. You will start noticing youre less likely to bet infected. As time goes by, you will see that you dont get sick that often!
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Sunlight Exposure And Vitamin D
Vitamin D is associated with the sun for a reason — your body can produce its own vitamin D when you expose your skin to the sun for a period of time. About 15 minutes of sun exposure per day is what many experts say is sufficient to make vitamin D. This means you want to have a good amount of skin uncovered by clothing or sunscreen since those things inhibit Vitamin D production, according to Tolentino.
How much sun you should get is also a bit complicated. “UVB radiation from the sun triggers vitamin D synthesis in our bodies, but there are a lot of factors to consider here,” says Tolentino
She continues, “Where you live , sunscreen usage and coverage and the amount of melanin in your skin can all impact vitamin D absorption. That makes it really difficult to provide generalized guidelines for the appropriate amount of sun exposure. What may be a sufficient or healthy amount of time in the sun with no sun protection for one person might not be advisable for another person.”
You body can easily absorb a liquid vitamin D or tincture since you can take the drops under your tongue.
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Whats The Best Supplement
One more thing to note: The safety and effectiveness of vitamins are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so before stocking up at the store, you should look for at least one of two endorsements, says Dr. Chan:
Dosage differs for each, so check with your physician or pharmacistand always mention any supplements you take when filling a prescription.
Sign Up For Your Covid
All individuals age 5 and older are currently eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
If you’re 16 and older and it has been 6 months since your initial Pfizer series, you’re eligible for a booster dose. If you’re 18 and older and it has been 6 months since your initial Moderna series or 2 months since your J& J shot, you are eligible to receive a booster dose.
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Increase Immunity The Healthy Way
Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body immune cells or others is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance run the risk of strokes.
Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.
Why Trust Verywell Family
A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am careful to recommend supplements, especially for children. I spent time reviewing the most current research on vitamin and mineral supplementation for children, and I looked at multiple brands and products. As a mom, I understand how parents want to keep their children as healthy as possible with the highest quality products. I believe the supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands that are devoted to product purity and are composed of high-quality ingredients. Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN
Lauren Cohen, MS, RD, LDN contributed to the FAQs.
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Vitamin Supplements To Boost Your Immune System
No supplement will cure or prevent the disease. No research has confirmed the use of any supplements to protect against COVID-19 specifically, however research has shown that supplementing with certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other substances can improve immune response and give you a better chance if you do catch the virus.
Please note that some supplements can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Some may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. If in doubt, you may check with the community pharmacist before purchasing.
At BHWC we are recommending our patients to take the following supplements:
- Vitamin C 1,000 mg od
- Vitamin D 2000-4000IU daily or 50-100mg daily
- Multivitamin this should contain B12, B6 and Magnesium
- Zinc 9.5mg elemental zinc for men & 7mg elemental zinc for womenThese can be purchased from health stores / grocery stores or pharmacies.
Examples of brands which contain these vitamins are Redoxon, Vitabiotics Ultra, Haliborange.
Vitamin A: Playing an important role in supporting T Cells, which are a type of white blood cell that help identify pathogens , vitamin A in can be found in all kinds of foods such as: liver, whole milk, cheese which contain retinol preformed vitamin A, and dark green leafy vegetables and orange-coloured fruits and vegetables, which contain beta carotenes that the body converts to vitamin A.
Helpful Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System And Fight Off Disease
How can you improve your immune system? On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?
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How Should You Use Dietary Supplements For Infectious & Immune Health
Dietary supplements can help make sure you meet the daily requirement of key vitamins and minerals to support a healthy and effective immune system. You should always speak with a physician before taking a dietary supplement. For most dietary supplements, its generally recommended to take 1 to 2 capsules, tablets, or chews a day.
Some supplements for immune support suggest taking the supplement more frequently during the onset of illness to provide the immune system with more immediate support. For example, taking a supplement rich in zinc can help boost the immune system response, especially in immunocompromised people such as the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.
Is Zinc Good For Immunity
Zinc is a nutrient which is found in cells throughout the body. It helps to support the normal functioning of the immune system, as well as supporting the production of proteins and DNA.
Holland & Barrett High Strength Zinc Tablets is a high strength, daily zinc supplement, which is a great way to boost the overall levels of zinc in your body.
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What Is Echinacea Used For
Echinaceas universal popularity is down to the fact that its leaves, roots and flowers have many potential uses. Whether you enjoy echinacea tablets or powders which contain concentrated amounts of this magnificent plant, youll find that echinacea can be used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections. This is based on traditional use only.
Your Money Might Be Better Spent On Something Else
During the winter months, you’ve likely seen ads for products that claim to give your immune system a boost to help you ward off colds and the flu. But can something in a bottle, whether a vitamin formulation or probiotic, really rev up your immune system to help you stay healthy?
“Unfortunately, the reality is that those kinds of products aren’t really offering you any benefit,” says Michael Starnbach, a professor of microbiology at Harvard Medical School. “There’s no evidence that they help in fighting disease.”
To understand why, you need to know a little about how the immune system works. The very idea of boosting the immune system is flawed.
“The immune system is very finely tuned,” says Starnbach. There is a balance between an immune system that is effective at limiting the ability of bacteria, viruses, and parasites to cause infection, and a hyperactive immune system that can cause such problems as allergies, diabetes, and other types of autoinflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
“If there were a wholesale boost to the immune system, it could trigger autoimmunity and other problems,” he says.
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What Foods Support The Immune System
Fruits and vegetables can help to support the normal functioning of the immune system, thanks to their vitamin content.
Citrus fruits such as grapefruits and oranges are high in vitamin C, and broccoli is packed full of vitamins and minerals, as well as containing vitamins A, C and E, fibre and antioxidants.
Vitamin Metabolites And Lymphocyte Homing
Roles of retinoic acid and 1,252VD3 in tissue-specific lymphocyte homing
Although vitamin A deficiency decreases the number of T and B cells in the small bowel lamina propria,,,, it does not affect lymphocyte migration to the colon. Analogously, GALT-resident DCs imprint T and B cells with homing capacity for the small bowel, but they do not induce colon-homing T cells. Therefore, retinoic acid is neither necessary nor sufficient to imprint colon-homing lymphocytes. The molecular signals that are responsible for lymphocyte homing to the colon and the reasons why T-cell migration to this compartment is controlled differently from homing to the small bowel are still to be determined.
Regarding the migration of ASCs, it has been proposed that CCR10 might have a role in the homing of IgA+ ASCs to the colon, mammary glands and probably to other mucosal compartments . However, it is currently unclear how CCR10 expression is induced by ASCs. Recent reports indicate that IgA+ ASCs might acquire CCR10 expression in colonic patches or in iliac lymph nodes following rectal immunization and that the expression of this receptor can also be induced by 1,252VD3 in human ASCs. However, 1,252VD3 does not induce CCR10 expression in murine ASCs in vitro and VDR-deficient mice have normal numbers of CCR10+ IgA+ ASCs, which indicates that 1,252VD3 might not be necessary for the induction of CCR10 expression by B cells in vivo, at least in mice.
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The Role Of Nutrition In Immune Health
Research shows when the body has optimal nutrition, it initiates an effective response against pathogens and is more successful in combating any underlying chronic inflammationChilds C, Calder P, Miles E. Diet and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2019 11:1933. .
The gut is home to one of the largest reservoirs of our immune system, and poor nutrition quite simply increases the risk of infection and transforms that once-protective gut barrier into the equivalent of Walmart on Black Friday, says Dr. Fenster.
This internal chaos created from eating less-than-nutritious foods can also become a bit of a vicious cycle. When the immune system is activated in the face of potential threats , theres a greater demand for energy, and a proper supply of nutrients is required to fight an active infection. Without those nutrients, your body doesnt have the stores from which to pull that could help you get well sooner.
Adequate and appropriate nutrition is required for the cells of the body to function optimally, and this includes cellular immune health, says David Friedman, a naturopathic doctor, clinical nutritionist and board-certified alternative medical practitioner based in North Carolina. When the body is exposed to disease-causing germs, the best defense is a healthful diet and nutrition.
Long story short, if you want to stay healthy this holiday season, pay attention to what makes it to your plate.