We're Learning More About The Link Between Vitamin D & Inflammatory Pathways: Here's The Deal*
We know there's something up with the body's inflammatory response and vitamin D—but just what is the link? A new study, published in the journal Nature Immunology, gets into the details of how this essential nutrient may support healthy inflammatory responses1—and it might be the start of some exciting new research too.*
How vitamin D may facilitate a normal inflammatory response.
The scientists behind this study, published jointly by scientists from Purdue University and the National Institutes of Health, demonstrated a pathway through which vitamin D confers anti-inflammatory actions important in combating inflammatory processes initiated by certain immune cells, like T-cells. By better understanding how this pathway functions, the researchers suggest we can better address the ways vitamin D can support optimal immune function, the resolution of inflammatory pathways, and whole-body health.*
Research for this study was conducted in test tubes (aka, preclinical in vitro work, which is important for elucidating mechanistic insights). The study authors quickly point out that clinical trials and further studies are necessary before the results of this particular study can be extrapolated widely for human application.
"It's important to understand that we did not carry out a clinical study," says co-lead author Majid Kazemian, Ph.D., "and the results of our experiments in the test need to be tested in clinical trials in actual people."
Now that that's out of the way, the researchers specifically investigated the way vitamin D affected inflammatory responses in individual lung cells (in some of which the immune system was working in overdrive). Understanding (even if just a little bit) the relationship between inflammatory pathways in the lungs and vitamin D may help to further research the various ways the vitamin supports overall health.*
Other ways to promote a healthy inflammatory physiology.
We can support our body's natural anti-inflammatory physiology and pathways throughout much of our daily lifestyle. Though there are many habits that you can adopt to do so, some of the easiest might be:
- Drinking more water
- Cutting back on sugar
- Using healthy cooking oils
- Incorporating regular exercise
- Consuming colorful, nutrient-dense foods
- Leveraging nutrients, botanicals & targeted bioactives with anti-inflammatory properties*
And what about vitamin D's benefits? In addition to its potential to support that all-important healthy inflammatory response, it can also help support thyroid health, immunity, gut health, and healthy bones.* Thinking of adding vitamin D to your routine? Check out our favorite supplement options, plus what to think about when choosing one.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.