University Of CopenhagenWe had previously reported that Vitamin D may be crucial in lifting our moods during the cold weather. Now, researchers from the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology have found that Vitamin D may be vital in triggering our immune defenses. Moreover, without adequate consumption of the vitamin, the killer cells of the immune system i.e. T cells may not be able to respond and ward off grave infections in the body.

For T cells to identify and destroy foreign pathogens like clumps of bacteria or viruses, the cells ought to initially be ‘activated’ into action and ‘change’ from immobile and safe immune cells into killer cells that are prepared to look for and wipe out all traces of a foreign pathogen. The scientists discovered that the T cells seem to depend on vitamin D so as to stimulate and they may stay inactive, inexperienced to the likelihood of risk if vitamin D is not present in the blood.

Professor Carsten Geisler from the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, commented, “We have discovered that the first stage in the activation of a T cell involves vitamin D. When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it has an immediate biochemical reaction and extends a signaling device or ‘antenna’ known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it search for vitamin D. This means that the T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease. If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won’t even begin to mobilise.”

T cells that are said to be effectively triggered apparently turn into one of the two kinds of immune cell. They either develop into killer cells that may assault and kill all cells having traces of a foreign pathogen or they turn into helper cells that may aid the immune system in obtaining ‘memory’. The helper cells apparently mail in messages to the immune system, thereby passing on information about the pathogen so that the immune system may identify and memorize it at their subsequent encounter and initiate a more capable and superior immune response. T cells appear to form part of the adaptive immune system, which could denote that they work by tutoring the immune system to identify and adjust to continuously altering risks.

Professor Geisler quoted, “Scientists have known for a long time that vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and the vitamin has also been implicated in diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, but what we didn’t realize is how crucial vitamin D is for actually activating the immune system – which we know now.”

The finding may supply the much wanted details about the immune system and could aid them in controlling the immune response. This may be vital in not only combating disease but also in tackling anti-immune responses of the body and the rejection of transplanted organs. Active T cells apparently proliferate at a fiery rate and may develop an inflammatory setting with grave effects for the body. Post organ transplants, T cells may assault the donor organ as a ‘foreign invader’. In autoimmune disease, hypersensitive T cells supposedly mistake fragments of the body’s own cells for foreign pathogens, thereby resulting in the body initiating an attack upon itself.

The research team could trail the biochemical sequence of the transformation of an immobile T cell to an energetic cell, and therefore they could interfere at numerous points to adapt the immune response. Inactive or ‘naïve’ T cells may significantly include neither the vitamin D receptor nor a specific molecule i.e. PLCgamma1 that could facilitate the cell to provide an antigen specific reaction.

So people need to include Vitamin D sufficiently in their diet to stay healthy.