|Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor|
As we advance in years, our immune systems become less robust. A recent study found that low levels of vitamin D may contribute to a compromised immune system by increasing inflammation and biomarkers of heart disease.
Participants in the study included 957 Irish adults who were at least 60 years old. The researchers tested blood levels of vitamin D as well as markers of inflammation, including IL-6, TNF-alpha, IL-10, and C-reactive protein (CRP).
They found that people who were deficient in vitamin D were more likely to have higher levels of these biomarkers, which are linked to cardiovascular disease and inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers from the University of Ulster conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 25, 2014 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.