Vitamin D Plays Huge Role In Our Health

By Pamela Redwine
County Coordinator
MSU Extension Agent III

Vitamin D is often known as the sunshine vitamin because ultraviolet rays from the sun cause our skin to produce it.  Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays many important roles in our body, including in our immune system.

Vitamin D and the Immune System:
The innate immune system is our body’s first defense against infection and includes physical barriers (skin, mucus membranes), enzymes, antimicrobial proteins, and cell receptors that recognize and destroy pathogens.  Vitamin D regulates the various actions within the innate immune system and is a crucial component for a healthy, active immune system.
Researchers believe that there is an association between people with low Vitamin D levels and increased risk of infection.  Epidemiological studies show a close association between people with low blood levels of Vitamin D and chronic disease including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.  However, raising body Vitamin D levels through food or supplements has shown inconsistent results in improving our immune system response and improving health.

How Do I Know my Body’s Vitamin D Level?
The best indicator of vitamin D Status is measuring serum concentrations of the 25 (OH)D, which reflects vitamin D produced in our skin as well as vitamin D from foods and supplements.
However, there is considerable discussion about the optimum amount of 25(OH)D for overall health. It’s nearly impossible to consume too much Vitamin D from food, and our body naturally regulates the amount of Vitamin D produced in the skin by UV light. The primary cause of too high levels of Vitamin D is supplements.

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily level necessary to meet the requirements of 97-98% of healthy people and is based on age and sex.  Infants up to 12 months age need 400 IU, children and adults up to age 70 need 600 IU, and people over age 70 – need 800 IU Vitamin D.
Article Source:

Extension Office Notes:

• The Looped with Love Crochet MHV Club will meet on Thursday, October 15, at 9 a.m. Participants are asked to bring whatever crochet or knitting project you are working on and join the program.   All program participants will need to wear masks and practice social distancing during activities.
• The Gold Cloverbuds Club will meet on Thursday, October 15th at 4:30 p.m.  That location is TBD.  They will be having a Natural Dye workshop.  Please remember to wear your mask.  To sign up for this meeting, you can email Natalie Turner, 4-H Volunteer Leader at or contact the Extension Office.
• The FCS 4-H Club will not meet in October but will continue doing the 4-H Cooking Kits, which are open to all youth, ages 5-18.  The last day to reserve your kit is October 16.  Kits can be picked up on October 22 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.  The cost of the kits are $5 each or you can reserve a kit for three months (October – December) for $15.
• All 4-H Clubs are open to the public. If you have questions please contact the Extension office at  or 675-2730.

Leave a Comment