Vitamin D deficiency is one of the deficiencies that are hardly noticed in the society yet it can worsen autoimmune disease. It is therefore advisable for everyone to check their vitamin D levels.
The deficiency is associated with inappropriate immune functions which could be due to;
- Lack of T-regulatory cells that aid in balancing the immune system.
- Lack of CD8+ TCells which destroy viruses like Epstein – Barr virus.
One can get infected with many diseases like heart disease, autoimmune diseases and depression in relation to low levels of vitamin D in the body. This is because Vitamin D has an impact on approximately 3,000-30,000 genes in the body.
Role of Vitamin D
- Balancing immune system responses in the body, that is, Cell-mediated (Th-1) and Humoral (Th-2) .It does this by influencing T-regulatory cells.
- Serum Vitamin D levels have a direct effect on human life expectancy according to the medical community and researchers. A vitamin D expert, Dr. William Grant suggests an increase in serum Vitamin D Levels would help prevent cancer deaths yearly by 30%.
- Studies have shown that Vitamin D can prevent the development of autoimmunity in animal models.
Other studies show that there is a relationship between Vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune thyroiditis and 92% of Hashimoto’s disease patients were deficient in vitamin D. The Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin D dose needed is 400 IU.
People should check their vitamin D levels often especially during winter seasons. The levels should be between 60 and 80 mg per L for immune system function and optimal thyroid receptor. It is recommended that people living in cold climates should take vitamin D supplements since they are at high risk for deficiency during winter months.
Vitamin D can be found in foods like eggs, fish, orange juice and cod liver oil. Furthermore, oral vitamin D supplement, sun and safe tanning beds are recommended.