Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Vitamin D: the “sunshine” vitamin. Over the last decade, the use of vitamin D to treat and prevent illnesses has grown exponentially, and new data is constantly being published which continues to prove the effectiveness of the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is estimated to activate about 8% of our entire genome. As it is so broadly engaged in different processes throughout the body, its many properties are still only being discovered.
Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease
Research shows a strong correlation between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disease, cancer, and other serious diseases. Low vitamin D in the body is linked to a higher risk for developing chronic illnesses, both systemic disease (lupus, arthritis) and organ-specific (multiple sclerosis, diabetes).
Dementia and memory loss are directly associated with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, as are prostate and breast cancer. Studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can help treat and prevent many of the common chronic, and sometimes life-threatening, illnesses that are on the rise.
Multiple sclerosis, thyroid disorders, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s, and lupus are key autoimmune diseases modulated by Vitamin D. The Journal of Immunology cites autoimmune conditions as the number-three cause of death. However, the killer isn’t the autoimmune condition itself, rather it’s the inflammation brought on by these conditions which predisposes us to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes that lead to death.
Impact of Inflammation and Leaky Gut
Chronic inflammation can be argued to be the underlying mechanism for all disease. Inflammation leads to leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, and may be due to an autoimmune condition, infections, or the consumption of gluten, sugar, or other toxins. The inflamed gut lining allows food particles and other toxins to slip through into the bloodstream, creating more inflammation.
This also compromises your ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning your body needs to be absorbing fat to absorb the vitamin. In addition, vitamin D is necessary for the gut to produce the stem cells that help it grow thicker and seal any gaps in the intestines.
How to Assess Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiency is at an all time high. We already knew most people were deficient, but recent research has shown that higher levels of vitamin D are necessary than were previously thought, meaning the deficiency is even more prevalent than we realized. Proper levels of vitamin D can help regulate our hormones and inflammation levels, effectively preventing disease.
You may be deficient in Vitamin D if:
- You don’t get enough sunlight. Spending too much time indoors, or living in a place that doesn’t have much sun time, limits the amount of vitamin D your body can make.
- You wear sunscreen with high SPF values. SPF blocks UVB rays, preventing your body from producing vitamin D. Once your skin gets a slight pinkness to it, you know you’ve had enough sun exposure for the day. Instead of reaching for heavy toxic sunscreen, opt instead for non-toxic SPF 15 lotion, seek out some time in the shade, or wear light clothing and a hat.
- The darker your skin, the more sun your body needs in order to produce vitamin D.
The only way to know your vitamin D levels is through a Vitamin D blood test.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
The average adult will benefit from supplementing with about 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Children and petite women do well in the 2,000-4,000 IU range daily. People suffering from autoimmune diseases can benefit from taking super doses of around 40,000 IU a day while they heal their gut lining- however, this should only be practiced under the supervision of a medical professional. When dealing with a cold, taking 150,000 IU of vitamin D3 for three days straight will knock the sickness right out of you!
Emulsi D Supreme is a concentrated bioavailable source of vitamin D, containing 2000 IU in each drop!