Vitamin D for Immune System Health
A paper released this month states that gingival cells grown in a laboratory treated with vitamin D increased their production of an endogenous antibiotic, and killed more bacteria than untreated cells. The research maintains that supplementing with Vitamin D for immune system health can help shield the gums from bacterial infections that lead to oral infections and problems such as periodontitis and gingivitis. Nearly 50% of US citizens are effected by periodontitis, which is chiefly responsible for tooth loss and is associated with heart disease. Interestingly enough, most US citizens are lacking proper levels of vitamin D. This is the time for you to take a closer look at your vitamin D intake and your oral health. Wait, there’s more.
Another lab study has recently showed that supplementing with Vitamin D for immune system health may stimulate white blood cells to produce natural proteins (namely LL-37) that have antibiotic behaviors. In this study, a dental school in New Jersey shows that vitamin D could even stimulate lung cells to produce LL-37, and kill additional bacteria. This suggests that vitamin D may aid cystic fibrosis patients. Alas, in the new research, also showed that vitamin D has the equal effect on gingival cells.
This study found that taking vitamin D supplements also stimulates gingival cells to produce TREM-1 (another largely unstudied protein), which however was thought to be produced by white blood cells. Lastly, the study maintains that it increases production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
The new vitamin D research also showed that vitamin D works to promote expression of several genes not until that time considered to be part of the vitamin D pathway. Those genes are stated to enhance infection fighting pathways. Interestingly, Diamond also found that lung and gum cells appear to have the ability to activate inactive forms of vitamin D, says Diamond. “This means that we may even be able to use vitamin D therapy topically, if that proves true.”
Vitamin D has become a hot topic of research in recent times. If you look into it online, you will see vitamin D news-related stories everywhere. In addition to infectious diseases, studies say that it has shielding effects against autoimmune health conditions.
Vitamin D deficiency in the US can easily be combated by taking a quality vitamin D supplement. Supplementing with Vitamin D for immune system health could be as effective as antibiotics.