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Monday, March 08, 2010

Vitamin D is Critical

UPDATE: 9 March
Vitamin D lifts mood during cold weather months, researchers say

ScienceDaily (2010-03-08) -- A daily dose of vitamin D may just be what people in northern climates need to get through the long winter, according to researchers. This nutrient lifts mood during cold weather months when days are short and more time is spent indoors. ... > read full article
Remember that vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means you need to have adequate, healthy fats in your daily diet.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 8 (UPI) -- University of Copenhagen researchers report vitamin D is crucial to activating immune defenses to fight off serious infections in the body.

Carsten Geisler said when specialized immune cells -- T cells -- are exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or "antenna" known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D.

"T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease," Geisler said in a statement. "If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won't even begin to mobilize."

Identifying the role of vitamin D in the activation of T cells has been a major breakthrough, the research team said.

"Scientists have known for a long time that vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and the vitamin has also been implicated in diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, but what we didn't realize is how crucial vitamin D is for actually activating the immune system -- which we know now," Geisler said.

Vitamin D is produced as a natural byproduct of the skin's exposure to sunlight and is also found in fish liver oil, eggs and fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel or a dietary supplement.

The findings are published in Nature Immunology.
Sunshine for health - A spot of sunshine doesn't just lift your spirits, it also boosts your immune system.

Research shows that vitamin D, made when our skin is exposed to sunlight, plays a key role in activating white blood cells that protect the body from flu, food poisoning and even cancer.

Without the 'sunshine vitamin', the cells do not join the fight against disease.

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