27 Mar It’s Time To Get Your Vitamin D Level Checked
When was the last time you had your vitamin D level checked?
During this pandemic, having a strong immune system is essential
Vitamin D has long been associated with supporting calcium and bone balance but often forgotten, or not known is its role in immunity
Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses.
Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection.
As vitamin D is cutaneously produced after exposure to UVB light, its synthesis is influenced by latitude, season, use of sunblock and skin pigment.
Vitamin D is then converted in the liver to form 25OH Vitamin D3, this is an inactive compound (but the most reliable measurement of an individuals vitamin D levels). The next step is conversion in the kidney to the active compound 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D.
Some of the more recently recognized non-classical actions of vitamin D include effects upon cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as immunologic effects resulting in an ability to maintain tolerance and to promote protective immunity
Vitamin D has been used (unknowingly) to treat infections such as tuberculosis before the advent of effective antibiotics.
Tuberculosis patients were sent to sanatoriums where treatment included exposure to sunlight which was thought to directly kill tuberculosis.
Cod liver oil, a rich source of vitamin D has also been employed as a treatment for tuberculosis as well as for generally increased protection from infections.
One report studied almost 19,000 subjects between 1988 and 1994. Individuals with lower vitamin D levels (<30 ng/ml) were more likely to self-report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for variables including season, age, gender, body mass and race
One recent well-designed prospective, double-blind placebo study using an objective outcome, nasopharyngeal swab culture (and not self-report), and a therapeutic dose of vitamin D showed that vitamin D administration resulted in a statistically significant (42%) decrease in the incidence of influenza infection
The evidence is stacking up, so in these uncertain times adding vitamin D to your supplements acts as a preventative health care measure or if you are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19, support your immune system to reduce symptoms and get back to good health
How much sun exposure should I be getting?
Aim for at least 10 minutes of sun exposure daily on bare arms and legs (no sunscreen) to help increase your levels.
Want to get tested?
Unfortunately, Medicare will only cover one vitamin D blood test once a year. If you are interested in getting you vitamin D level checked, you can get a corporate referral from us for $22. It’s money well spent. Knowing what your levels give us the knowledge on how to dose you appropriately.