Vitamin D strengthens the immune system

Too low a vitamin D level weakens the immune system and increases the susceptibility to infections

In winter, many people try to strengthen the immune system in order to be prepared for the colds in the cold season. New research suggests that a vitamin D deficiency makes you more susceptible to colds. Most people in Germany have an insufficient vitamin D level. The vitamin is very important to support the immune system.

More susceptible to influenza infections If you take too little vitamin D, you usually have a weak immune system. The head of the Clinic for Lung Diseases at the Saarland University Clinic, Prof. Dr. Robert Bals opposite the magazine "Focus". Especially patients who already suffer from serious illnesses, such as reduced lung function or bronchial asthma, or who are suffering from cancer often show a low vitamin D level.

New studies show that special immune cells, such as dendritic cells, suffer from vitamin deficiency. According to Bals, the "information on vitamin D is clear, but for hard scientific evidence we need long-term knowledge," the pulmonologist told the magazine. The new issue of the magazine focuses on the human immune system and shows how the immune system can be strengthened.

Most Germans have a vitamin D deficiency According to a study by the German Nutrition Society, the vitamin D deficiency is a mass phenomenon. About 90 percent of adults have a vitamin D level that is too low. According to the information, children and adolescents are also often undersupplied. The human organism produces about 90 percent of the vitamin itself. In the skin, the body converts substances into vitamin D with the help of UV-B rays from the sun. But because in our latitudes the sun's rays are too low in winter and people are less outdoors in the cold season, the body can produce less of the vitamin accordingly. There is therefore an undersupply, especially in winter.

Some research has already shown the link between susceptibility to infections and vitamin D deficiency. For example, schoolchildren in Japan showed a lower susceptibility to flu if they had adequate vitamin levels than children with a low vitamin content. The first group was given a vitamin preparation, the second received only an agent without an active ingredient (placebo).

Skin and intestinal flora support the immune system But it is not only the cells of the immune system that ward off pathogens in the body. Research recently knows that a number of microbes exist that live on the skin (skin flora) or in the intestine (intestinal flora). Excessive cleanliness, a high-fat diet and a lot of sugar attack the beneficial bacteria. The US scientist Martin Blaser pointed out to the magazine that a rethink is taking place. "In the future, we will specifically remedy the deficits caused by the modern lifestyle in our microbiome in order to prevent or heal diseases." A weakened intestinal flora mainly occurs after antibiotic therapy. Therefore, naturopaths and naturopathic doctors advise to build up intestinal flora.

Additional intake of vitamin D through food In order to compensate for the vitamin D deficiency, the diet can also be adjusted accordingly. A lot of the vitamin can be found in cod liver oil, salmon, eel, sardines, chicken eggs and mushrooms. All in all, it can be said that especially in winter fat-rich fish, mushrooms and enriched edible fats can make a supportive contribution to the vitamin D supply. The regular visit to the solarium, on the other hand, is controversial; Taking artificial vitamin supplements can also help increase vitamin intake. However, there is also a risk of toxicity if overdosed. (sb)

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