Vitamin D and the immune system

You might have seen that a story broke in the news recently where scientists revealed they found no convincing evidence to suggest that taking vitamin D supplements will fend off a cold. However, the Office of Dietary Supplements confirms that vitamin D does play a role in immune function and there are many studies which suggest a link between vitamin D and flu and respiratory infections.

The first population based study to evaluate and demonstrate an association between blood serum levels and upper respiratory tract infections was published in 2009. Following this, the importance of vitamin D for its immune boosting properties was reported further in 2010, by Danish scientists, who discovered that vitamin D is crucial in activating the body’s immune defences. Findings showed that, without sufficient intake, the T cells, which are responsible for immune health, remain dormant and inactive leaving them unable to react and fight off serious infections in the body.

National Vitamin D Awareness Week
National Vitamin D Awareness Week is highlighting the importance of Vitamin D – as well as the positive effects on the immune system.

There have been many other studies. Researchers from University of Colorado, Denver, reported that people with low levels of vitamin D were 40 per cent more likely to have been struck down with a recent respiratory infection.* And a further study, by Japanese doctors, found that the risk of children suffering from influenza could be halved if they take vitamin D. It found that only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, who took vitamin D came down with flu, compared with one in five given a placebo. Mitsuyoshi Urashimi, the doctor who led the trial, claims that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in protecting against flu viruses.

Vitamin D comes in many forms, with tablets generally being the most accepted way of gaining this essential vitamin. But tablets are certainly not the only way. Modern diet, increased stress levels and an ageing population means that our digestive efficiency is worsening. This can often mean that tablets aren’t absorbed quite as effectively as they were designed to. An alternative route for administration is the sublingual route. Oral sprays deliver the vitamin under the tongue via the mucous membrane, which is then transported directly into the bloodstream, meaning it doesn’t have to rely on the digestive system for absorption.

Researchers at Cardiff University recently found that more than a third of the BetterYou’s DLux range of vitamin D oral sprays are absorbed immediately into the bloodstream, via the tissue in the cheek and under the tongue.




* BetterYou Ltd