Feb 132014
 

by: Terri H Ritchie, MS, CCN & Advent Nutrition

vitamin DThis is the time of year when most people start to be concerned about the health problems that generally hit during the winter season.  Typically, the only preparation most individuals take is to be sure to get a flu shot, especially for the target populations: children and the elderly. While the benefits of flu shots are often speculative, the real concern should be the overall function of the immune system. Most commonly, people will wait until they are ill, and then start to mega dose with vitamin C, zinc and other nutrients thought to boost their immune response. Is there a better way to deal with the onslaught of bacteria and viruses that seem to cause so much difficulty?

One of the most exciting fields of research in the last 5 years has been that done on Vitamin D. Although it is referred to as a vitamin, it is actually a hormone. Hormones are molecules that are secreted by glands (i.e.: adrenal, pancreas, ovary, testicles, thyroid) that have an action on another part of the body. While the role of vitamin D has typically centered on its use in the formation of bones and teeth, it is now known to play an intricate role in our immune systems. Researchers are now increasingly convinced that the lack of vitamin D may answer that age-old question- Why do we tend to get sick mostly during the winter months?

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