Vitamin D and the Immune System
Regular readers of the blog, or those who have gone back to read older entries, may not that I’m a bit of a fan of vitamin D supplementation. It’s a very important vitamin that’s produced by the body with exposure to sunlight and performs a wide range of functions. It’s so important to the body that it’s often considered a hormone. What it’s most known for is that it helps with bone health. Among other additional uses, however, it’s also known to be very helpful for immune system function. So helpful, in fact, that even in 1895 a Danish healthcare professional used sunlight therapy on patients infected with tuberculosis and had a 95% success rate. By 1903 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his treatment and by the 1920’s it was routine treatment for tuberculosis.
In the April 2006 issue of “Nature Medicine”, an article titled “Fighting Infections with Vitamin D” went on to detail the reasons for how vitamin D has an impact on the nervous system as well as making some points on dosage. One of the most striking points he makes is that, when it comes to the daily recommended dose for vitamin D it is based solely on the bone health aspects. In order to maintain proper immune health, higher doses are needed. Another point he makes, is that even beyond higher daily doses for immune system health, larger doses seem to prove even more beneficial for acute infections. Further, vitamin D’s improvement of the immune response seems to apply to better defense against bacteria, viruses, and fungi alike. The author concludes with a hope that in the future we’ll be able to even better treat infection disease not with drugs, but simply by stimulating greater expression of our bodies’ natural antimicrobial peptides with safe an inexpensive substances such as vitamin D.
This is certainly a great hope. Chiropractic, like proper nutrition, helps keep a body in optimal health so as to avoid needing drugs, which force the body into certain chemistries, in the first place. Chiropractic and nutrition work hand in hand as nutrition provides proper building blocks for health and chiropractic allows the body to make the most of those building blocks.
--Joshua J. J. Jorde D.C.