Forget the Flu Shot, Boost Immunity with Vitamin D
Limited sunlight during the winter months, especially in the northern latitudes (such as South Dakota), means that a vitamin D supplement is key to maintaining health.
Instead of relying on flu shots, loading up on emergen-C and over the counter remedies this winter, avoid infections by taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Read more to find out why vitamin D is one of the best supplements to add to your daily routine.
Research done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination (NHNE), shows that over 75% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. In non-whites, 90% of Americans are deficient, due to having more melanin in their skin, which decreases the absorption of vitamin D from the sun.
Classically, vitamin D is known for its role in bone maintenance. Vitamin D increases absorption of calcium in the small intestine. In recent years it has been noted that bone marrow, brain, colon, malignant cancer cells, and immune cells exhibit vitamin D absorption sites. This means that vitamin D plays a role in organ function throughout the body.
The incidence of vitamin D deficiency has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Some research suggests a relationship between obesity and vitamin D deficiency, especially in children.
Vitamin D functions as a cytokine, a protective complex in immune cells that kills microbes and maintains healthy cells. Immunologic effects of vitamin D increase protective immunity and tolerance to infections.
Without adequate vitamin D, the body struggles to fight infection, leading to more cold and flu outbreaks, and susceptibility to autoimmune and chronic disease.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to musculoskeletal weakness, allowing more sprains and fractures; autoimmune diseases such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, depression and decreased immune function. One study showed how vitamin D supplementation reduced injuries in youth football teams compared to teams that took no vitamin D.
Most adults in our region would be well-served taking 10,000 IU (International Units) of vitamin D daily during the winter. Since vitamin D is oil soluble, International Units (IU) are used to measure content rather than milligrams (mg). That dose will lower chances of catching a cold and help ensure that insidious health concerns like multiple sclerosis (MS) and fractures are less likely to occur.
Vitamin D is inexpensive, and Reinecke Chiropractic Clinic carries a complete line of Metagenics vitamins, supplements, and medical foods. It is better to buy from a reputable company to avoid products with harmful impurities and assure potency stated on the label. Metagenics products have been rigorously inspected for potency and purity. Stop in and ask for some vitamin D for your family – for children under 12 years of age we can determine the dose of D based on the child's weight.
Adams, John S., and Martin Hewison. “Update in Vitamin D.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 95.2 (2010): 471–478. PMC. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
Aranow, Cynthia. “Vitamin D and the Immune System.” Journal of investigative medicine : the official publication of the American Federation for Clinical Research 59.6 (2011): 881–886. PMC. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
Holick, Michael F. "The Vitamin D Epidemic and Its Health Consequences1,2,3,4." The Vitamin D Epidemic and Its Health Consequences. N.p., 01 Nov. 2005. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.