The sunshine Vitamin. Vitamin D acts like a hormone in our body and we are heavily reliant on it. The way most attain Vitamin D is by sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is produced by the epithelial (skin) cells from the exposure to ultraviolet light.
Getting around 15 minutes of sunlight 3 times per week, generally produces enough vitamin D for a human adult.
Vitamin D is easy enough to obtain however deficiencies remain high. Testing for Vitamin D deficiency is a routine blood test that you can obtain in Australia for no extra charge from your GP.
Vitamin D plays a vital role ensuring our gut barrier defense remains resistant to invading germs (pathogens).
When it comes to food intolerance gut resistance plays a vital role in keeping food in the intestines and out of the interstitial spaces where it shouldn’t be. Think of our intestines like a tube that food goes through that tube is made up of millions of cells held tightly together.
Vitamin D increases proteins that “glue” our intestinal cells together. This glue is called gap junctions and they hold our intestinal skin (epithelial) cells together, without Vitamin D our intestinal wall becomes permeable letting in food particles.
These particles trigger an immune response to that food, causing inflammatory cells to become activated, inflammation causes more gap junction to loosen and then we react to more foods and this vicious cycle continues until we heal the eliminate the food that is causing the problem, heal the gut lining and reduce the inflammation.
Vitamin D also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, supplementing will definitely go a long way in reducing your inflammation.
Vitamin D excess has also been linked to food allergy however you would have to take a large amount of supplement per day to get to the dosage of over 5000iu. Most supplements have 1000iu so you would have to dose yourself 5 times per day every day for a length of time to achieve this for most 1000iu is more than adequate.
Vitamin D modulates our immune system helping it achieve balance. Our immune system has white blood cells which form our immune defence. White blood cells are made up of various components T cells, B cells and natural killer cells. They all work differently in our immune system.
T cells have different divisions called the T helper cells (Th1 and Th2). If these cells are in balance they keep everything operating in equilibrium.
However if Vitamin D is deficient we can see over activated Th cells and they can cause autoimmunity or atopy for example
Th1 can cause autoimmune conditions such as IBD, Coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis
Th2 over activation can result in food intolerance, hay fever, asthma and eczema
If you are deficient in vitamin D this fine-tuned balance goes out the window.
Vitamin D is a hormone in its own right but Vitamin D also helps to regulate other hormones (which is why it’s useful for PCOS) and creates balance, when there is an imbalance among the other hormones and if vitamin D is deficient, it can result in an increase in sebum (oil) which can result in acne. Many people don’t know that hormones are made with a lipid (oil) base.
Vitamin D regulates the cells that produce oil ensuring there is an adequate amount but not an excess air growth
Vitamin D is a hormone in its own right but Vitamin D also helps to regulate other hormones (which is why it’s useful for PCOS) and creates balance, when there is an imbalance among the other hormones and if vitamin D is deficient the extra modulating aspect for other hormones is gone and can result in unbalanced hormones.
Many studies have shown Vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate or even contribute depression and those that have vitamin D deficiency have an increased risk of experiencing depression.
Studies have also found cognitive decline was associated with Vitamin D deficiency. This is due to Vitamin D receptors which control mood and behaviour in the brain not being activated as they should if there was enough Vitamin D.
Studies have also shown vitamin D deficiency exacerbates inflammation in the liver. Those with a Vitamin D deficiency experience greater amounts of fibrosis in the liver and hepatic inflammation. The severity of liver disease increases with vitamin D deficiency.
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