As more confirmed cases of COVID-19 hit the news every day, health-conscious shoppers are clearing the aisles of vitamin C in an effort to better protect themselves.
But most are overlooking the importance of another immune-boosting must-have..
And it’s called Vitamin D!
Lack of Vitamin D Means More Infections
Research shows that vitamin D deficiencies increase susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections like the flu.
- One of the most influential studies published on the topic comes from MD Investigator Cynthia Aranow for the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
“The implications of vitamin D deficiency on the immune system have become clearer in recent years,” Aranow’s study asserts. “There have been multiple cross-sectional studies associating lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection.”
- Lack of vitamin D has also been linked to “increased autoimmunity,” which is when the immune system attacks its own healthy cells!
- This study found that “vitamin D ‘triggers and arms’ the immune system” by stimulating T cells, an important white blood cell type.
- Another study published by the British Society of Immunology adds that Vitamin D enhances the performance of macrophages, an important immune system cell.
Vitamin D’s Role in Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
The immune system also plays a part in cardiovascular disease, studies show that high cholesterol levels can cause the immune system’s cytokines to act against the body while trying to protect it.
This makes it especially important to eat healthy and prevent cholesterol build-up so vitamin D can do its job by boosting the immune system without creating further risk, and thereby helping prevent cardiovascular disease.
How To Get More Vitamin D
One of the best ways to get vitamin D is also one of the easiest!
Stepping out into the sun allows your skin to absorb vitamin D and studies show that sun-derived vitamin D actually remains effective twice as long in your body compared to other sources.
You can also count on certain foods for vitamin D, such as fatty fish like salmon or.
But be mindful of the type of fish you choose and how it’s raised because one study found that wild-caught salmon contains four times as much vitamin D as farmed salmon!
Some other good food sources for vitamin D include:
- Free-range chicken eggs (particularly the yolk)
- Foods fortified with vitamin D (butter and margarine are popular and particularly easy to find)
There’s also the option to take vitamin D supplements, which can be especially important for vegans.
The only difficulty here is almost all vegan-friendly supplements use plant-derived vitamin D2, which is less effective than animal-derived vitamin D3.
Get More Vitamin D And Boost Your Immune System!
When it comes to staying healthy in the fight against COVID-19, getting enough vitamin D shouldn’t be overlooked.
The easiest and most efficient way to do this is by stepping outside and enjoying the sunshine, just remember the importance of social distancing!
You can also add up to 3 portions of fatty fish a week to your regular diet, along with mushrooms and egg yolks.
The great thing about foods rich in vitamin D is they typically have high nutrient counts for other vitamins and minerals too!
If you can’t get all your vitamin D from natural sun and food sources, you can always turn to supplements.
Just be mindful of plant-derived forms of the vitamin, which can be less effective than the D3 animal-derived supplements.
What do you think about using vitamin D as an immune booster? Let us know in the comments below!