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Study reveals the power of vitamin D3

Many of our readers will have seen the latest research that found significant differences between the two types of vitamin D, D2 and D3.

A collaborative study by Surrey and Brighton universities, published in Frontiers in Immunology, found that vitamin D3 could balance people’s immune systems and help strengthen defences against viral infections such as Covid-19.

The researchers discovered that both types of vitamin D did not have the same effect. They investigated the impact of D2 and D3 supplementation taken daily over a 12-week period on the activity of genes in blood.

The results showed that vitamin D3 had a modifying effect on the immune system that could fortify the body against viral and bacterial diseases.

Professor Susan Lanham-New, co-author of the study and Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Surrey, said: “The lack of impact we found when looking at vitamin D2 means that a larger study is urgently required to clarify the differences in the effects. However, these results show that vitamin D3 should be the favoured form for fortified foods and supplements.”

And lead author Professor Colin Smith added: “We have shown that vitamin D3 appears to stimulate the type I interferon signalling system in the body – a key part of the immune system that provides a first line of defence against bacteria and viruses. Thus, a healthy vitamin D3 status may help prevent viruses and bacteria from gaining a foothold in the body.

“Our study suggests that it is important that people take a vitamin D3 supplement, or suitably fortified foods, especially in the winter months.”

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