Vitamin D and Immunity: What does the Research Say?

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Immunity Green Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.Most of us know that vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) plays an important role in bone health. However, did you know the research on vitamin d and immunity shows people with low levels are more likely to catch a common cold and the flu than those with sufficient amounts?

What else does the research say?

Research on Vitamin D and Immunity

One study of 19,000 subjects related to vitamin D and immunity found that people with blood levels below 30 ng/ml were more likely to experience an upper respiratory infection even when adjusting for variables such as season, age, gender, and weight.

People deficient in vitamin D with asthma were five times more likely to get sick than their counterparts with healthy vitamin D levels.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a 42 percent decrease in the incidence of influenza by those taking a supplemental dose of 20 mcg (1200 IU) of vitamin D.

Cooper Clinic recommends a minimum of 50 mcg (2000 IU) of vitamin D3 taken daily with food.

Improving Vitamin D Absorption

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it needs a bit of fat to be absorbed.  If you take vitamin D supplements, take with a meal that contains some healthy fat.  This can increase absorption by 50%!

All Cooper Complete multivitamins contain 50 mcg (2000 IU) of vitamin D3. Cooper Complete also offers a stand-alone D3 of 25 mcg (1000 IU) and 125 mcg (5000 IU).

Are You D Deficient?

Vitamin D deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. In general, lower vitamin D levels are a result of an increase in multiple factors such as:

  • sun avoidance
  • using sun protection
  • skin pigmentation
  • poor dietary and supplement intake
  • malabsorption syndromes, obesity, and medication use.

Do you know your vitamin D level?

A simple blood test can provide the answer. The 25 hydroxyvitamin D level should be greater than 30 ng/ml as mentioned previously, but some doctors prefer to see your lab value over 50 ng/ml.

If it is determined that you have low levels, approximately 1000 IU of vitamin D can increase your level by up to 10 points.

After starting a vitamin D supplement regimen, blood levels should be rechecked in 3 months until the target level of vitamin D is reached and then checked at your annual exam.

Vitamin D in Your Diet

You can find vitamin D in some foods which have been fortified with D, like:

But it can be difficult to meet your needs with food. For many, swallowing a Cooper Complete Vitamin D3 softgel is a more pleasant alternative to decreasing the risk of a winter cold.

Article provided by Cathy Sides, Director of Customer Relations, Cooper Concepts Inc.

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