How to support immune function naturally

Natural medicine has been used for centuries to support the immune functions of the body. Now we see this traditional knowledge be proven by science. It is never a surprise to me when a new scientific finding supports the use of a herb that my herbalist foremothers and fathers have passed down knowledge of for centuries. Today I want to share with you some ways to support a healthy immune system.

Sunlight & Vitamin D – As we mostly know, sun exposure causes the formation of Vitamin D. Unfortunately we have high levels of vitamin D deficiency in Australia. One study found up to 60% of Australian participants had levels lower than what is ideal. What I see in clinical practice mirrors these results. If you have a darker complexion, spend a lot of time indoors, wear sunscreen regularly, have a chronic illness, or carry some extra body fat you have a higher risk of being part of this 60%

Risks associated with Vitamin D deficiency include bone health metabolism concerns such as osteoporosis, pregnancy complications such as preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, an increase in immune-driven conditions such as asthma in the offspring when mum is deficient, and an increased risk of respiratory conditions. Research has shown many more links, but I will try to keep on track in this article and not digress! In relation to the immune system, Vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory to the lungs, improves survival when critically ill, modulates the immune system, reduces risk of respiratory failure, and reduces risk of sepsis in infection.

How do we check if we are Vitamin D deficient? Well, your GP can do this for you, although some are not happy to do this for their patients. You can chat to your Naturopath about privately paying for a Vitamin D assessment. The out-of-pocket expense at the time of this writing is around the $80AUD mark. If you see your levels are below 80, it is time to supplement! Even under 100 is not quite ideal according to most Naturopaths. When choosing a Vitamin D supplement, quality is very important as Vitamin D is an unstable nutrient. I only recommend Vitamin D which is guaranteed to meet label claims for potency at expiry. Dosage, when there is a deficiency, is 5000IU daily.

Please contact me for more tailored information regarding immune function and overall health.

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