Don’t you find it interesting and slightly funny how we don’t hear the media discuss the importance of Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 for building our immune system?
What are you doing NOW to build your immune system?
Self care with ‘THE WHOLESTIC METHOD” eight elements including proper nutrition, sleep, exercise, digestion, gut health and movement in nature with sun exposure.
Here is the wikipedia definition of Vitamin D says...
- Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, and multiple other biological effects.
- In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
- The major natural source of the vitamin is synthesis of cholecalciferol in the lower layers of skin epidermis through a chemical reaction that is dependent on sun exposure (specifically UVB radiation).
- Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol can be ingested from the diet and from supplements.
- Only a few foods, such as the flesh of fatty fish, naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D.
- In the U.S. and other countries, cow’s milk and plant-derived milk substitutes are fortified with vitamin D, as are many breakfast cereals.
- Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light contribute useful amounts of vitamin D.
- Dietary recommendations typically assume that all of a person’s vitamin D is taken by mouth, as sun exposure in the population is variable and recommendations about the amount of sun exposure that is safe are uncertain in view of the skin cancer risk.
- Vitamin D from the diet, or from skin synthesis, is biologically inactive.
- A protein enzyme must hydroxylate it to convert it to the active form. This is done in the liver and in the kidneys.
- As vitamin D can be synthesized in adequate amounts by most mammals if exposed to sufficient sunlight, it is not essential, so technically not a vitamin.
- Instead it can be considered a hormone, with activation of the vitamin D pro-hormone resulting in the active form, calcitriol, which then produces effects via a nuclear receptor in multiple locations.
- Cholecalciferol is converted in the liver to calcifediol (25-hydroxycholecalciferol); ergocalciferol is converted to 25-hydroxyergocalciferol.
- These two vitamin D metabolites (called 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D) are measured in serum to determine a person’s vitamin D status.
- Calcifediol is further hydroxylated by the kidneys to form calcitriol (also known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol), the biologically active form of vitamin D.
- Calcitriol circulates as a hormone in the blood, having a major role regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphate, and promoting the healthy growth and remodeling of bone.
- Calcitriol also has other effects, including some on cell growth, neuromuscular and immune functions, and reduction of inflammation.
Here is the definition of what I hear the most about – Vitamin D3
- Vitamin D3 and colecalciferol, is a type of vitamin D which is made by the skin when exposed to sunlight; it is also found in some foods and can be taken as a dietary supplement.
- Cholecalciferol is made in the skin following UVB light exposure.
- It is converted in the liver to calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) which is then converted in the kidney to calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D).
- One of its actions is to increase the uptake of calcium by the intestines. It is found in food such as some fish, beef liver, eggs, and cheese.
How about WHY we most of us our LOW in Vitamin D and should test our levels instead of guessing?
After reading the above definitions- we can start to have a deeper understanding of the importance of proper digestion, breakdown and absorption of nutrients including liver, gallbladder and pancreas function. Many of us are experiencing, unkowningly, DYS-FUNCTION in our digestion system and need support to reboot and restore back to optimal function.
Again- always think of the car analogy… we take care and ownership of our own cars but we don’t even think to do it for our bodies! We put wear and tear on our bodies every single hour of the day – so why don’t we take care of ourselves.
Harvard Health article shared nine factors that can influence a person’s vitamin D level:
1. The latitude where you live.
2. The air pollution where you live.
3. Your use of sunscreen — in theory.
4. The color of your skin.
5. The temperature of your skin.
6. Your weight.
7. Your age.
8. The health of your gut.
9. The health of your liver and kidneys.
“It is now clear that vitamin D has important roles in addition to its classic effects on calcium and bone homeostasis.
As the vitamin D receptor is expressed on immune cells (B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells) and these immunologic cells are all are capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D metabolite, vitamin D has the capability of acting in an autocrine manner in a local immunologic milieu.
Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.
As immune cells in autoimmune diseases are responsive to the ameliorative effects of vitamin D, the beneficial effects of supplementing vitamin D deficient individuals with autoimmune disease may extend beyond the effects on bone and calcium homeostasis.
The immune system defends the body from foreign, invading organisms, promoting protective immunity while maintaining tolerance to self.
The implications of vitamin D deficiency on the immune system have become clearer in recent years and in the context of vitamin D deficiency, there appears to be an increased susceptibility to infection and a diathesis, in a genetically susceptible host to autoimmunity.
Vitamin D has important functions beyond those of calcium and bone homeostasis which include modulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses.
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in autoimmune disease.
Cells of the immune system are capable of synthesizing and responding to vitamin D.
Immune cells in autoimmune diseases are responsive to the ameliorative effects of vitamin D suggesting that the beneficial effects of supplementing vitamin D deficient individuals with autoimmune disease may extend beyond effects on bone and calcium homeostasis.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
Now what are you going to to do improve your health and build up your immune system?
The hygiene hypothesis postulates that higher levels of cleanliness and improper exposure to microorganisms early in childhood could disturb the intestinal microbiome resulting in abnormal immune responses.
Recently, more attention has been put on how a lack of sun exposure and consequently vitamin D deficiency could lead to less immune tolerance and aberrant immune responses.
Moreover, vitamin D receptor (VDR) function has been positioned to be a critical aspect of immune response and gut homeostasis.
Therefore, this review focuses on the role that the interaction between vitamin D, VDR function, and gut microbiome might have on autoimmune diseases in the context of the hygiene hypothesis.
Literature shows that there is a high correlation between vitamin D deficiency, VDR dysfunction, gut microbiota composition, and autoimmune diseases.https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2016.00627/full
Let me know your plan of attack! The time is now and we can’t depend on social isolation, social distancing, PPE and constant cleaning to build our immune system.
Deep thoughts with Debbie Potts…
until next time… go outside and play in the sunshine!