Vitamin D Immunity: Vitamin D For Your Immune System + More!
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
A lot of people know that Vitamin D has a lot of benefits for your health, but did you know it also helps boost your immune system?
It's true, and in this article, we'll explain how Vitamin D's immunity-building power and many other medicinal effects help make it a vital part of the brand new, game-changing Amla Green Immunity Formula.
Table of Contents
What Is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the uptake of calcium and phosphorus from food in your intestines.
Though Vitamin D is often found most highly concentrated in animal food sources, Vitamin D is also synthesized by your skin when exposed to sunlight, and can be absorbed from your food via a number of different plants as well.
Vitamin D plays a key role in immune system regulation and has been found to be an important part of human health for centuries.
Vitamin D levels also play an important role in maintaining healthy bones, and they may help protect against colon cancer, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is often thought of as a bone-building vitamin, but it’s also vitally important for many other parts of your body. Here are just some examples:
Vitamin D for Brain Health
Vitamin D helps keep your brain healthy by regulating the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which keep your mind sharp and help improve your mood.
Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention
Vitamin D may reduce cancer risk through its effects on cell growth and DNA repair. This is due to Vitamin D’s ability to inhibit the abnormal division of cells that can lead to tumors. The evidence for this benefit is particularly strong in breast cancer prevention.
Vitamin D's Estrogen Regulation Effects
Vitamin D supports fertility and healthy pregnancies by regulating estrogen levels.
The Mood Enhancement Effects of Vitamin D
Vitamin D may ease the symptoms of depression, which is why it's sometimes called a sunshine vitamin or mood vitamin.
Effects of Vitamin D as You Age
Your body needs healthy Vitamin D levels to maintain muscle strength and physical mobility as you age. In fact, studies show that older adults with lower Vitamin D levels have more difficulty walking and a higher risk of falls.
And Of Course, The Immune System
Vitamin D supports immunity by promoting the production of white blood cells and promoting faster healing after an injury or infection, which we'll describe in further detail below.
How Your Immune System Works
When working properly, the immune system detects and destroys these foreign substances by making antibodies to them.
But when your immune system is compromised, it can't do its job, and you're more susceptible to disease and infections.
Determining the Strength of Your Immune System
The relative health/protective strength of your immune system comes down to two factors: your innate immunity and your adaptive immunity.
Innate immunity refers to non-specific defenses that all organisms have against infection, which include cells in your skin and mucous membranes that kill viruses and bacteria on contact.
Stomach acid and enzymes in the digestive tract are other examples of parts of your body's innate immune system.
Innate immunity develops in your bloodstream during pregnancy before you're born or shortly after birth.
Adaptive immunity is different because it measures your body's ability to be able to respond more specifically when it encounters harmful substances.
For example, when your body encounters a virus, your immune system manufactures antibodies, which are specific antiviral defenses used to neutralize the foreign threat.
Vaccination takes advantage of your adaptive immunity by exposing your body to a small amount of a virus to produce antibodies.
The combined strength of your innate and adaptive immune system determines your immune system's relative health and protective power.
What Your Immune System Needs to Function
Your immune system is the powerhouse of your body, defending against infection and disease.
It's an amazing thing to think about; in one tiny spot on your skin (a wound for example), you can have more than 500 different types of bacteria!
Still, in order to keep your immune system healthy, there are two important factors.
First, your immune system also relies on your overall health to remain functioning correctly. For example, stress can slow your immune system from working as well, which is why it's so important to manage your stress levels.
Second, you need to give your immune system the right tools and nutrients. These tools have a variety of different purposes, and include:
- Vitamin D
- B Vitamins (B12, B complex)
- Vitamin C
- Omega-rich foods (like certain nuts and seeds)
- And many more!
You can get all of these crucial vitamins and minerals from eating a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, and certain types of light, fatty meats (though sometimes the risks of eating meat outweigh the benefits).
However, if need be you can also add these key nutrients to your diet through a powerful natural supplement like Amla Green Immunity Formula!
Vitamin D Immune System Benefits
Vitamin D is essential for both innate and adaptive immunity because it assists in the production, differentiation, activation, and recruitment of immune cells (cells that will fight illness).
Vitamin D increases the production of white blood cells which protect you by fighting infection and disease-causing bacteria. When you have a healthy amount of these immune cells, your body has a better chance of fighting infections and diseases.
Vitamin D also regulates your natural killer cells (or T-cells) that help fight viruses in your body. These T-cells are "hunters" of potential contagions, but they rely on Vitamin D for activation, so without it, their response is severely limited.
Vitamin D also increases the production of interferon-gamma which is a type of protein that fights bacteria and viruses.
In studies, Vitamin D levels in a healthy range have been shown to increase T-cell proliferation, enhance response time to antigens, and improve the response to viral infections, and Vitamin D supplements have been shown to increase the proportion of regulatory T cells in patients with autoimmune disorders.
The Role of Inflammation
Inflammation can severely hamper your body's immune response, and healthy levels of Vitamin D help here too by regulating cytokines, which are chemical messengers that cause inflammation.
By helping manage these cytokines effectively, and releasing anti-inflammatory proteins, Vitamin D helps protect your body from inflammation, leaving your immune system free to do its job.
How Lower Vitamin D Levels Affect Your Body
Having reduced levels of Vitamin D affects your body in a number of ways. In fact, Vitamin D levels that are out of the healthy range can cause:
Depression. Vitamin D deficiency causes depression by decreasing neurotransmitter production. In turn, this makes you feel fatigued and depressed.
Poor sleep quality. Vitamin D regulates the body's production of melatonin, which helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle. With decreased levels of Vitamin D, your mood can be thrown off, and your sleep quality may suffer.
Increased risk for heart disease. Low levels of Vitamin D can increase your risk for heart disease, as this deficiency hampers the way cholesterol and fat are processed in your body, causing buildups
Muscle weakness and fatigue. Vitamin D helps with muscle strength and development. When there is a lack of this vitamin, the muscles are not properly nourished
Decreased immunity to viruses, bacteria, etc. (including influenza). As we mentioned above, proper Vitamin D levels are vital to your body's immune system. When there is a lack of this vitamin, you are more vulnerable to sickness and other illnesses.
Osteoporosis. Vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium, which helps your bones stay strong and healthy. When there's not enough Vitamin D in your body, your bones can suffer.
Lowered thyroid function. Vitamin D helps regulate the production and function of your thyroid, which regulates almost every other system in your body. Without enough Vitamin D, you may be at risk for an underactive or overactive thyroid.
Premature aging. Vitamin D is responsible for building and maintaining the elasticity of skin cells - without healthy Vitamin D levels wrinkles can form at an accelerated rate. Vitamin D can also cause premature deterioration of muscles and bones.
Vision problems and blindness. Vitamin D can help regulate the pressure in your eyes, which helps to maintain good vision. When you don't have enough Vitamin D, you may be at risk for vision problems or blindness.
To summarize, having low levels of Vitamin D affects your body in many ways, and can cause a number of different problems!
Why Improving Your Vitamin D Levels Matters
We're more aware than ever of how important it is to maintain a healthy immune system. And it's not just because of viruses and other illnesses that are currently facing the world.
There are many lifestyle factors that can increase your risk for illness, such as poor sleep, hygiene, or a high-stress work environment. And while we all hope to work towards better sleep, and less stressful work, sometimes we have to deal with these struggles!
And one important way to increase your immune system and keep moving forward with the best chance of fighting disease is by making sure you have enough Vitamin D in your diet!
How to Improve Low Levels of Vitamin D
Other than getting sunshine, the easiest way to get Vitamin D is through a balanced diet, and there are a number of different options that are high in this vital mineral, including:
- Seafood like trout, salmon, shrimp, and crab
- Eggs, especially from free-range chickens given a more diverse diet
- Cheese like cheddar, mozzarella, feta, and brie.
However, as we've mentioned above, sometimes the risks of eating meat can outweigh the benefits, so we've also included a number of different plant-based sources as well!
Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D because they're so low in calories, and they can be found at many grocery stores
Almonds are also a great source of vitamin D, and are one of the many nuts and seeds that help improve the vitamin D in your diet (along with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame.
Kidney beans and chickpeas, whole wheat, sunflower seeds, cabbage, and many more are all great sources of vitamin D and offer a variety of other helpful effects!
Finally, the most direct option to improve your Vitamin D levels is through vitamin D supplementation.
Who Can Benefit from Vitamin D Supplements
There are a number of conditions that Vitamin D supplementation can be helpful with treating.
Vitamin D Deficiency. As we explored above, a Vitamin D deficiency can have a number of negative effects including a weakened immune system, depression, bone weakness, and other factors. Vitamin D supplements can make a big difference here!
Autoimmune Conditions. Vitamin D supplementation helps people with autoimmune conditions by reducing the severity of flares.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Vitamin D supplementation is being extensively tested among individuals with multiple sclerosis, and has been shown to help with multiple sclerosis symptoms including muscle weakness, numbness, and others.
Asthma. Vitamin D supplementation can also help with asthma, and it is being explored as a possible treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Allergies. Vitamin D supplementation can also help with allergies, and some studies have shown that Vitamin D may provide a reduction in seasonal allergy symptoms.
Osteoporosis. Vitamin D supplements can also help with osteoporosis and are being explored as a potential treatment for a variety of other bone conditions.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. Upper respiratory tract infections (also known as URIs) are incredibly common and are another condition that Vitamin D supplements can help with.
These Vitamin D supplements help fight upper respiratory tract infections by increasing the number of cytokines that help fight off infection.
The Amla Green Immunity Formula
Amla Green is already a powerful blend of four herbs that support the immune system (along with providing a vast number of other health effects) but now we’ve taken it a step further with our new Amla Green Immunity Formula.
The Vitamin D in this formula helps strengthen and protect your immune system - both by improving its ability to fight infections on its own and by boosting your body's production of natural immunity-boosting substances.
We've also added other immune-boosting ingredients to the formula, including elderberry, ginger, and zinc.
The result? Maybe the most powerful natural supplement for improving your immunity that's out there today.
And we want to share it with you! That’s why with every order of Amla Green Immunity Formula we offer a risk free guarantee. If you don’t start to see the benefits of Amla (which are incredibly varied), or you’re not satisfied with this tasty new formula, you can reach out to us for your money back, no questions asked.
Click here to try Amla Green Immunity today and boost your immune system using your food as medicine!
Amla Green has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles, and we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.
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Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Cyrus Khambatta