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Vitamin D Deficiency: How Does It Affect Your Immune System?

According to a recent study, as much as 40 percent of the global population is deficient in vitamin D. This is a problem because this particular vitamin is critical for the function of the immune system, cardiovascular system, fertility, and mood.  Vitamin D deficiency contributes to the problem of rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, hypertension as well as several different common cancers, most of which are deadly. For more detailed information, visit braceyourhealth.

Why Vitamin D?

Naturally occurring vitamin D is more of a hormone than a vitamin. It is a byproduct of the kidneys and controls calcium blood concentration. This regulates your blood pressure levels and keeps your heart beating normally. 

There are many other functions when the body has optimal levels of vitamin D. They include mood-stabilizing and the production of certain immune cells. Vitamin D supplements, the right foods, and more time in the sunlight can all be excellent ways to boost your vitamin D levels. 

Vitamin D Deficiency

When your body is deficient in vitamin D, symptoms such as mood disorders, bone and muscle weakness, hair loss, increased asthma symptoms, weight gain or weight loss, unusual and severe fatigue, and increased exposure to infections can be found.  

Two Types of Vitamin D

The two main types of vitamin D found in the body, and which contribute to overall good health, are Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. The more active type of vitamin D is the 1.25 Dihydroxy Vitamin D (1.25D)  or Calcidiol. Your body needs and can use this type of vitamin right now. 

Ergocalciferol or Vitamin D2 is the inactive precursor for Vitamin D in the body, which is activated in the kidneys. It was previously thought that vitamin D2 and D3 were functioning on an equal level, but that was disproved recently. Vitamin D2 is 50 to 60 percent more effective than D3 in supplement form. 

Vitamin D and the Immune System

Vitamin D is charged with modulating the immune system’s response through the T-cells and the B-cells, which are the two classes of the immune cells. 

A deficiency in vitamin D can be linked to increased exposure to different infections as well as the growth of healthy white blood cells. The white blood cells are charged with helping the body fight various illnesses. 

Vitamin D also plays an active role in reducing the risk of acute respiratory infections in many patients.  This includes chronic bronchitis, COPD, and other lung or respiratory illnesses. Multiple Sclerosis, hair loss, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are all autoimmune diseases that are affected by T-cells and a deficiency in vitamin D. 

Of course, vitamin D will not protect you from developing an autoimmune illness or prevent you from experiencing a flare-up if you already have one of these diseases. However, adequate vitamin D levels will contribute to the healthy function of the immune cells throughout the body.  

Vitamin D LevelsEvery individual has their own absorption level of vitamin D and it can vary from person to person even in families. The Vitamin D Society recommends an individual maintains levels from 100 to 150 nmol/L.

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