Add this to the growing resume of vitamin D: it stimulates the immune system.
Oregon State University scientists have discovered that vitamin D induces the expression of a gene that’s actually antimicrobial.
The gene is called cathelicidin, and the researchers believe that it may be responsible for vitamin D’s capacity to function as one’s primary immune response. They also believe that in the future, cathelicidin may form the basis for new immune-based therapies.
Since an estimated 70% of Americans have way less than optimal levels of vitamin D, and nearly a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient, the Oregon State Researchers warn of an impending public health problem, in both developed and developing nations.
Food sources are unlikely to provide optimal levels of vitamin D. We get the bulk of this vitamin from the sun, but virtually no one is getting enough of it.
Readers of this newsletter already know that vitamin D improves physical performance in older adults, is essential for strong bones, has anti-cancer effects and improves mood. It also reduces the risk of death from any cause.
And recently, a study in the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine found that adults with the lowest levels of vitamin D were most likely to have higher levels of cognitive decline as they aged.
Vitamin D is one of the easiest nutrients to supplement with. Even the highest quality vitamin D is relatively inexpensive. The new emulsion formulas are economical (900 servings per bottle!) and allow you to simply add a few drops to any drink, which is what I do every single day. (For the record, I take 8,000 IUs daily.)