How does vitamin D protect your body? It sounds like a science fiction movie…
An army of robot guards roams the corridors of an immense structure. When a dangerous intruder is detected inside the walls, the robots activate their antennas, ready to receive the signal that will mobilize them into action. When the signal arrives, the robots act swiftly to defeat and remove the intruder.
But if the signal doesn’t arrive, the robots can’t activate their defensive network.
In your body, the “robots” are known as T cells–the killer cells of your immune system. When a foreign pathogen enters, T cells activate a vitamin D receptor. All that’s needed now is a sufficient level of vitamin D in the blood stream.
When T cells find their D, they power up, go to work, and the good guys win.
For years, scientists have known that vitamin D plays an indispensable role in controlling disease. And for years they’ve been asking: How does D do it?
Researchers from Copenhagen University believe they’ve found the answer, as described above.
I honestly don’t know if the Copenhagen researchers are actually the first to discover this brilliant collaboration of vitamin D and T cells. But if they really are, my hat is off to them. Thanks, guys, for helping us better understand the nature of this vitamin that’s one of the primary lynchpins of good health.
The west coast has the sunshine
For those of us who pay attention to such things, you have to wonder why we’ve seen a sudden explosion of such a wide range of vitamin D research over the past three years.
Obviously, scientists have known the importance of D for quite a long time. So how is it that so many researchers, completely independent of one another, seem to have decided all at once to investigate this remarkable vitamin?
I put that question to HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., and he too was unable to recall any sort of defining moment that might have launched all these studies. And he added: “It’s certainly the fastest shift from 400 of anything to 2000-5000 of anything I’ve EVER seen.”
Of course, he’s talking about the recommended daily intake of IUs (international units).
That increased RDI is a good note for everyone. Yes, even for California girls.
Another recent D study found that a low blood level of the vitamin appears to be linked to lower muscle strength. The problem: When D is insufficient, fat accumulates in muscle tissue.
That’s good to know, and we’ll add it to the rapidly growing list of vitamin D benefits. But one interesting– and disturbing–detail stood out in this study.
Researchers recruited 90 subjects. In each subject, blood levels of vitamin D were measured, along with muscle mass, muscle fat percentage, and body fat. And here’s the kicker: All the subjects were California women between the ages of 16 and 22. But 60 percent of them had low D levels, and one-in-four had levels that qualified as deficient.
Yikes! If young women in California aren’t getting enough sun exposure to maintain a sufficient D level, what chance do the rest of us have?
From HSI eAlert