Vitamin D affects key immune system cells

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have discovered a new way that vitamin D affects the body’s immune system. The study, published in the Frontiers in Immunology, showed that vitamin D can potentially help manage autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D’s role in the human body

Despite its name, vitamin D is not a true vitamin; it is a pro-hormone. Vitamins need to be consumed from food because the body cannot produce them by itself. Vitamin D, on the other hand, can be synthesized by the body from sunlight, on top of dietary sources:

  • Egg yolks — Most of the protein is found in the egg whites, but the nutrients are found in the yolk. Compared to chickens that are raised indoors, pasture-raised or free-range chickens produce eggs that have higher amounts of vitamin D.
  • Mushrooms — They are the only plants capable of converting sunlight into vitamin D, making them the only plant source of this nutrient.
  • Fatty fish and seafood — Some examples of seafood rich in vitamin D are salmon, shrimp, and herring.

Vitamin D has a key role in multiple functions of the body. It helps maintain bone and teeth health, aside from regulating insulin levels and aiding in diabetes management.

Vitamin D is also important for the brain, immune system and nervous system. It regulates cell growth and cell-to-cell communication. In fact, some studies have suggested that calcitriol, an active form of vitamin D, can potentially inhibit cancer progression. (Related: Vitamin D Halts Growth of Breast Cancer Tumors.)

Vitamin D and the immune system

The list of research backing up vitamin D’s role in the immune system is long. In the Edinburgh study however, the researchers wanted to explore vitamin D’s influence on autoimmune diseases. Previous works have observed an inverse relationship between vitamin D and the susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. Some of these include Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis….

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-10-29-vitamin-d-affects-key-immune-system-cells.html

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