Adrian Gombart, Ph.D., is the Linus Pauling Institute’s resident expert on vitamin D. The institute hosted a free webinar with him, discussing the role of vitamin D in bone health, cancer prevention, fighting infections, and supporting the immune system. We present it here, along with his follow-up answers to audience questions.
It’s a sunny day in the middle of winter. You bask in the sunlight outside during lunch.
You’re getting your daily dose of vitamin D, right?
Part of a healthy immune system involves responding to bacterial invasion. The body has many mechanisms to combat bacteria, including the white blood cells or leukocytes.
Several types of white blood cells produce small strings of amino acids (that are typically referred to as ‘peptides’) that can target invading bacteria. Through a variety of mechanisms, these peptides can associate with a bacterial cell membrane, breaking the cell open and driving it toward death. Collectively, these are known as “antimicrobial peptides”.
Here’s where vitamin D gets involved: