Avoiding the Season of Sickness: The Importance of Vitamin D and the Immune System
The Christmas Season is famously known as the “most wonderful time of the year.” The air is fresh and crisp and holiday lights illuminate in the dark night. As the snow starts to fall, we can’t help but envision sugar plum fairies and flying reindeer. We look forward to cuddling by the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate, and being surrounded by warmth and love. But for many, this time of year is filled with more tissues and sore throats than candy canes and cheer. But why? Was your grandmother actually right when she’d yell at you to put on a jacket so you don’t catch a cold? Or is it merely coincidence?
After what feels like decades of researching this “Old Wives Tale”, Yale scientists have finally been able to prove that cold weather does, in fact, make people sick – meaning your grandmother was right! Colder temperatures not only result in a “sluggish immune response” but they also weaken the nose’s first line of immune defense. This leaves you much more susceptible to the more rapid spread of infection than during sunnier months.
We all know staying indoors is much preferred during the colder months. That fireplace and warm cocoa are much more appealing than shoveling snow and freezing your fingers off. That being said, this trend to stay indoors affects our immune system in one monumental way: a lack of vitamin D. But why is vitamin D so crucial you may wonder? T-cells. T-cells are known as our immune system’s “killer” cells. Once activated, T-cells act as an assassin – seeking out and destroying every trace of an enemy. The only issue with T-cells is that they can’t be activated on their own. How do they become activated then you ask? Vitamin D.
It’s clear that we have a proportional relationship between Vitamin D, our T-cells, and the rate at which we get sick. When our immune system is strong and we have enough vitamin D, our T-Cell assassins are constantly ready to fight whatever pathogen enters your body. However, when we’re lacking in both immune support and vitamin D, that’s when we are vulnerable to disease and infection. Basic elementary science classes teach us that we can produce vitamin D through sunlight, but what about overall immune system support? A few ways to continue boosting your immune system during this season of sickness is:
- to exercise
- eat a nutritious diet that focuses on micronutrients
- reducing stress
- getting enough sleep.
Supplements to boost your immune system
But sometimes that isn’t enough. If you find yourself feeling more sluggish and sniffly, try giving these Nutritional Frontier supplements a try:
D3 5000 IU- If you live north of Atlanta as we do in Pittsburgh you can not manufacture enough Vitamin D in the winter and as we covered, vitamin D is essential to maintain immune health. There are a number of Nutritional Frontier products that support vitamin D absorption as well as other benefits which include: bone health, calcium balance, cardiovascular function, healthy cell growth, immune system modulation, and mood.
AdrenaMax III by Nutritional Frontiers promotes resilience to stress by supporting the function of the adrenal glands. The herbs in Adrenamax III have traditionally been used to help with both hyper-function and hypo-function of the adrenal glands, hence they are classified as ‘adaptogens. Benefits from ingredients include increased athletic performance and immune function, lower blood sugar, stress tolerance, help with insomnia and anxiety, improve cognitive function, weight loss, and energy levels
Probzyme is a comprehensive, chewable vegetarian formulation designed to support digestive tract health and nutrient absorption in people of all ages. Probzyme supports bowel defense, digestion, regularity, lactose intolerance, and your immune system. Other benefits include an increase in digestive enzymes, protection of DNA, a decrease of pathogens in the body, resistance to some allergens, and skin function.
All of these Nutritional Frontier products are sold through Zock Family Chiropractic. Feel free to contact us for more information or for help deciding what supplements may be best for you.