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Vitamin D for a strong immune system

Whole Naturopathy / Immune  / Vitamin D for a strong immune system
Vitamin D for immune system

Vitamin D for a strong immune system

The most important role of vitamin D is putting calcium into our bones. But it also has other roles such as regulating our immune systems. Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of both the innate immune system (general defence) and the acquired immune system (specific targeted defence), as well as having a role in regulating inflammation. Studies have shown that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with reduced disease, including respiratory infections.

A blood test for Vitamin D gives a reference range of 50-250 nmol/L, with the lower end of this range set in order to prevent osteoporosis (spontaneous spinal fractures). Whilst vitamin D levels above 50nmol/L does prevent osteoporosis, optimal health is found in levels between 100-150nmol/L.

Our bodies make vitamin D with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight and it was around 100 years ago after the industrial revolution, when rickets (a disease of bone malformation) was found in many children of Northern Europe. These children spent most of the daylight hours inside working, but now it is estimated that almost 50% of the world’s population are deficient in vitamin D.

Daily exposure of arms and hands (or equivalent skin elsewhere) near midday is considered to produce adequate vitamin D, and emerging research shows that other health benefits come from exposure to sunlight. Being further from the equator, or having darker skin increases the amount of sunlight required to make enough vitamin D, and in Melbourne, little UV light is available in winter. Ideally, your body would make enough vitamin D from the sunlight in the summer, to get you through the following winter.

Oily fish such as salmon, herring, and mackerel are the best food sources of vitamin D, and traditionally, these fish were regularly consumed by those living at northern latitudes. Cod liver oil is high in vitamin D, but it is also high in vitamin A which is toxic in high doses. Take care not to exceed the recommended amount especially if you are taking multiple supplements that contain vitamin A.

If your vitamin D levels are low, supplementing through the winter can help to keep you well. But not all vitamin D supplements are the same. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) supplements of plant origin were the first to be available, but this type of vitamin D is not easily absorbed. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a form that is absorbed much more easily and if you are taking it regularly, look for a supplement that contains a low dose of vitamin K, as this will assist with absorption.

Recent research has shown vitamin D3 in the calcifediol form is more effective again as it is in a form that is easily absorbed. This is particularly true in cases of deficiency, liver damage, kidney disease, and intestinal malabsorption, as these organs are all involved in absorption, metabolism and activation of vitamin D.


Whole Naturopathy has vitamin D3 in the calcifediol form in stock. A naturopath can also make a custom mix of herbs, recommend nutritional products, or homeopathy best suited to your unique symptoms.

This advice is general in nature and not intended to be prescriptive. For individualised prescriptive advice, please see a naturopath or other health care practitioner.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32679784/



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