16 January 2021

Vitamin D and the Immune System

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What is Vitamin D?

Initially Vitamin D was prescribed to those who had rickets/more bone fractures and where it was found that these people were very low in Vitamin D. Over the years more and more research as gone into Vitamin D as they found we can’t get much of it through the foods we eat.

It is now looked upon as being good and necessary not only for our bones but also for its support of our immune system.  It has such overwhelming benefits to our whole body that it is now talked about all the time.

It is often referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ though they now say Vitamin D is produced by the body and is actually a hormone.  It is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight.  It then circulates in the bloodstream & helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus.  If there isn’t enough Vitamin D in the body, the body will absorb the calcium from the bones, hence this is has a detrimental effect on the bone density.

It’s role in supporting our bodies

  • Immunity – Research has shown that vitamin D may help protect against acute respiratory infections.  The study found that a daily or even weekly intake of the supplement benefited individuals who had a deficiency in  Vitamin D and cut their risk of respiratory infection in half. All the individuals who participated experienced some benefit by taking regular supplements.
  • Bone Health – Research shows that vitamin D can aid in reducing fractures and improve muscle strength. In addition, high levels of dietary vitamin D3 may be suitable for achieving a higher peak bone mass in adulthood and so prevent osteoporosis.
  • Mood – studies have been done to see if vitamin D had a direct correlation with improving depression. They found that this is an area of future research. “The outcome did suggest, exercising outdoors, eating vitamin D3 rich foods and taking supplements to improve overall mental well-being, it could be a solution for individuals who are at risk for depression.”
  • Heart Health – Studies have found that individuals with obesity and high blood pressure tend to have lower vitamin D levels.  Some research stated that the vitamin can help lower blood pressure. There are some studies that have shown that it lowers the risk of stroke and heart attack.  It has shown that having a higher body fat % means it is harder for the body to absorb vitamin D.

What you can do:

  • Either ask your GP for a Vitamin D blood test OR send off for a Vit D home-test, like from Better You company (https://betteryou.com/vitamin-d-test-kit)
  • Check & see what amounts of Vit D3 (check it is Vit D3 not D2) are in you multi vitamins or supplements that you take.
  • Ideally during the winter you are advised to be taking 600 – 800 IUD a day.
  • If you are uneasy or unsure what to take then maybe make an appointment with a nutritionist who can advise on the best form and who will take a look at what YOU need. (I can recommend some very highly respected nutritionist so just ask)
  • I am a stickler for taking good supplements as all the negative press on supplements is generally about the cheaper supplements and what fillers they put in the supplements to ‘bulk’ it up.  So if you want some gentle and good quality brands I will happily chat to you about them.  However, I am NOT a nutritionist and do not know YOUR medical history so I am NOT qualified in what supplements go with any medicines you may be taking.  It is always worth seeing a nutritionist or someone who knows YOUR medical history.

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