A new study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests vitamin D plays an important role in immune function, protecting us from autoimmune diseases, infections,and tumor growth.
Victor Maneul Martinez-Taboada, MD and colleagues in Spain compared changes in vitamin D serum levels among three groups of healthy people: young (ages 20-30), middle (31-59), and elderly (60-86).
They found that generally vitamin D levels decreased with age, they also found toll-like receptors (TLRs), which regulate immune response against viruses, were significantly affected by vitamin D deficiency.
The authors call for further research on the subject. They end with, “…Since vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and generally safe, this is a really exciting discovery.”
Alvarez-Rodriguez L, Lopez-Hoyos M, Garcia-Unzueta M, Amado JA, Cacho PM, Martinez-Taboada Vm. Age and levels of circulating vitamin D are associated with impaired innate immune function. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Feb 2012.