If you’ve done any research on gut health, you already know how important a well-functioning GI tract is for supporting optimal immune function (since the bulk of our immune system is actually located in our gut!). As it turns out, vitamin D plays a key role in critical immune defenses—and, in turn, helps optimize overall gut health.*
“The vitamin D pathway is important in the regulation of immune responses and gut health. There are different genes regulated by the vitamin D receptor that can affect the integrity of the gut barrier and the immune defenses in the gut,”* Adrian F. Gombart, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, previously told mbg.
But immune function isn’t the only aspect of GI health vitamin D supports! In a 2020 cross-sectional analysis published in Nature Communications, researchers found that men with higher concentrations of the active, hormone form of vitamin D showed greater gut microbiome diversity (which is a key indicator of optimal gut health), including the kind of gut microbiota that produce the postbiotic butyrate.*
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