Does Vitamin D Really Boost Immune Health?

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Interviewer: I think a lot of people associate Vitamin D with our immune system.  Is that a correct assumption?  And we also hear a lot of people, if they feel something coming on, "Well, I'd better pop an extra Vitamin D."  Does that do anything?

Dr. Lucinda Messer: Well, the immune system association, I'm glad that people are starting to make that link that, yes, if they take enough Vitamin D, and certainly, they might think that 400 units or 1000 units might get them there, which is not correct.  But I think that people are catching on that there's an association with the immune system.  I think what they're not being informed of, and they're not educated enough to know yet, is that, it takes more than that and it takes consuming higher doses according to their body weight, and according to their condition, and their immune condition, if they have cancer, or if they have an autoimmune condition.  Whereas, if you just take a Vitamin D, you just pop a Vitamin D pill when you're getting a cold, it's not going to do much, because it takes probably a few months to get your levels up high enough to help your immune system.  So, that won't do very much.  It's better used as preventative care, obviously, to get your immune system set up and optimized in the first place, so that you don't get sick in the first place.  I have been in practice for 20 years, but the last five years, since I know about the research, I've kept my levels above 80.  And, I don't get sick, and I've been exposed to H1N1 virus.  I've been exposed to everything, including my sick kids with sinus infections, upper respiratories.  Never.  Nothing.  And I used to get at least two pretty nasty upper respiratory infections a year from patients that were sick.  So it's pretty cool, but you can't just pop a pill and think it's going to kill the virus.  It doesn't work that way.

If you feel something coming on, does popping some extra vitamin d make a difference? Dr. Lucinda Messer discusses the connection between vitamin d and the immune system. Find out what you need to know to help prevent those colds and other conditions in the first place.

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