One of the nutrients that is super important when it comes to autoimmune disease is vitamin D.
Researchers have discovered that many people with autoimmune disease are also vitamin D deficient. In particular, vitamin D has been strongly linked to a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. The how and why questions don’t have clear answers yet and there’s still a lot more research that needs to be done.
One thing is clear though. If you already have autoimmune disease, getting plenty of vitamin D is a must.
Vitamin D has huge effects on immunity. It’s involved in helping the body to tell when an invader is a genuine threat to immunity, rather than one of its own cells. This is one of the big reasons why low levels of vitamin D can be a factor in autoimmune disease.
How to get more vitamin D in your life? Sunlight ☀️ is one of the best sources but using sunscreen can massively deplete the amount of vitamin D that your skin can actually produce. Spending 5-10 minutes in direct sunlight without sunscreen can be enough to counteract this. If you're probe to sunburn, just make sure you apply sunscreen after this!
On top of this, you can also get some vitamin D from your diet. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are good choices, as are organ meats, egg yolks and foods that are fortified with vitamin D.
As you can see, there aren’t too many foods that naturally contain vitamin D and this is one reason why people can find themselves lacking in it. There’s another problem too, especially when you have an autoimmune disease. Leaky gut (which is a big factor in autoimmune disease) can mean that the body finds it harder to absorb nutrients - including vitamin D and the fat it needs to be absorbed properly.
If you’re worried about your vitamin D levels, it’s worth getting them tested to see if you’d benefit from supplementing.
If you're in the tri-state area, book an appointment with me, and we can ensure your Vitamin D levels are where they need to be!
In the meantime, enjoy the sun!