Vitamin D and Immune Support
A variety of scientific data published in the last ten years document the necessity of an adequate intake of Vitamin D for the proper functioning of nearly all bodily systems. Of particular significance, is the growing evidence from research suggesting Vitamin D’s profound effects on the immune system.
A report in Science News details a battery of studies linking Vitamin D with healthy immune functions. 1
The association between Vitamin D and immune health is not new, but researchers at the Jikei University School of Medicine in Japan have gone one step further by putting this theory to rigorous testing in clinical trials. In a double blind, placebo-controlled trial, 344 school children were divided into two groups. One group received daily Vitamin D3 supplements of 1200 IUs. The other group received a placebo. During a period of 4 months, the incidence of respiratory concerns was seen in 11 percent of the group that took Vitamin D3 supplements as compared to 19 percent in the placebo group. Children who already had low levels of Vitamin D benefited the most with a 74 percent improvement in immune function versus placebo. 2
The study which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that Vitamin D3 supplements, taken daily, may help support a healthy immune system. The study suggests that Vitamin D3 supplementation to school children may be particularly beneficial.
Vitamin D is believed to exert an influence on the body’s innate immune system. This is the heart of the body’s defense system that reacts rapidly using genetically encoded response mechanisms. One such response is the production of broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents called Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs). When the body is exposed to microbes, our skin cells along with a broad range of immune cells, create these AMPs. This process is in part dependent on the availability of Vitamin D in the body.
A study conducted by Danish scientists reported that Vitamin D is necessary for the proper signaling and activation of T cell when the body is exposed to foreign organisms. Insufficient levels of Vitamin D may lead to poor immune response with T cells remaining either dormant or inactive. 3
How Vitamin D May Support Immune Function
There are several benefits associated with Vitamin D beyond supporting bone health and promoting immunity.
- Vitamin D may help to strengthen muscle which may help prevent falls. 4
- Vitamin D may support heart health – The Health Professional Follow-Up Study who followed the health of 50,000 men for 10 years showed that men who were deficient in Vitamin D did not experience the same cardiovascular health as those who had adequate levels of Vitamin D. 5
Manufacturing Your Own Line Of Vitamin D Products with NutraScience Labs
Vitamin D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone that the body produces. The main dietary sources of Vitamin D are fortified foods and Vitamin D supplements. Common delivery methods are tablets and capsules. There is fast-growing evidence that Vitamin D plays a complex role in maintaining an array of healthy functions in the body.
To learn how you can start meeting consumer demand for high-quality Vitamin D products that potentially offer immune support benefits, call us today at (855) 492-7388 or submit a request to receive a free quote from one of our in-house Production Specialists in as little as 48 hours!
2. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published online ahead of print, doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094.
3. Nature Immunology, doi: 10.1038/ni.1851.
4. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007; 55:234-9.
5. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.