January 8, 2013

The Immunity Boosting Benefits of Vitamin D3

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:24 am by Peter Fallon

The Immunity Boosting Benefits of Vitamin D3 
By Peter Fallon

As a pharmacist in Latham, New York, I often converse with members of the community and local media on ways of staying healthy. Individuals are generally more susceptible to airborne pathogens during the colder and darker winter months whether it involves the common cold or a serious flu strain such as H1N1. One of the best ways of keeping your body well prepared for whatever the flu season offers is through increased intake of vitamin D3. A group of fat-soluble secosteroids, vitamin D encompasses five chemical compositions, of which D2 and D3 are the two major types. Vitamin D3 is produced naturally in the skin as cholecalciferol, generated by the body when the chemical compound 7-dehydrocholesterol reacts with certain wavelengths of UV light. In temperate regions, ample sunlight during spring, summer, and fall ensures healthy amounts of produced and stored vitamin D3. With lessened sunlight during the winter months, cholecalciferol becomes more difficult to produce and D3 supplements are recommended. Vitamin D3 effectively increases the cellular levels of the immune system, providing added defense against pathogens. In particular, it plays a vital role as a modulator of the immune system, regulating T cells and increasing the pathogen-killing efficiency of macrophages (white blood cells) within the tissue. D3 also limits the expression of inflammatory cytokines while increasing the expression of antimicrobial peptides, which exist in many cells within the immune system. Peptides stimulated by vitamin D3 play a particularly vital role in protecting the body from lung infection. A deficiency of D3 is additionally thought to play a role in the progression and development of a number of autoimmune diseases.

While its immune-boosting properties are the primary reason I recommend vitamin D3 supplements, the vitamin is also linked to a number of unique health benefits, including protection from cancer, cognitive enhancement, lowered depression levels, bone health, and avoidance of chronic back pain. From my own personal experience, a combination of vitamin D3, vitamin C, and the immunity booster elderberry were effective in quickly easing respiratory symptoms that could have led to flu. Within moderation, vitamin D3 supplements provide a safe and effective way of successfully navigating the flu season.

About the Author: Peter L. Fallon is President of Fallon Wellness Pharmacy, LLC. Peter Fallon’s center is one of approximately 120 compound prescription-specialized pharmacies accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.


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