Vitamin D: Defender of Self-Recognition

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Vitamin D – Defender of Self-Recognition

The importance of vitamin D’s contribution to a healthy immune system cannot be overstated. According to research published recently in the Journal of Immunology 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 acts within the immune system to reduce the activity of the subpopulation of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) that are the most prone to accidentally mistake one of your cells for an outside invader.23 In other words, vitamin D focuses cells on performing their designated tasks and prevents them from overdoing it – truly a nutrient that works as an immune modulator. It promotes enhanced immune activity when necessary but protects the immune system from becoming overactive.

At the same time, locally produced 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 also stimulates the activity of the subpopulation of lymphocytes responsible for correcting any “mistakes” that have already occurred. Thanks to vitamin D, your immune system is able to distinguish friend from foe and take the appropriate actions by fixing what’s needed to get your immune system to function at its best.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Vitamin D – Immune System Support to the Next Level

23. Chen L, Cencioni MT, Angelini DF, Borsellino G, Battistini L, Brosnan CF. Transcriptional profiling of T cells identifies a role for vitamin D in the immunoregulation of the V.9V.2 response to phosphate-containing ligands. J Immunol 2005;174:6144-6152.

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