Among all nutrients Vitamins A and D are arguably the most thoroughly researched vitamins. These vitamins are noted for antioxidant effect, benefit to the eyes, immune function, aid to physical growth and development, and protection from infections. Vitamin D, in addition, performs a critical function of regulating the immune system, preventing autoimmune diseases and particularly yeast infections.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods like the flesh of fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, fish liver oils. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Other foods, like milk, are fortified with this vitamin and it is also available as a dietary supplement. It is naturally produced in the body in the presence of sunlight when ultraviolet rays from sun fall on the skin. Vitamin D is promotes calcium absorption in the intestines and maintains calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D has other roles in human body, including immune function and reduction of inflammation.
In many critical illnesses, especially, of the gastrointestinal tract like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, patients become deficient in vitamin D. This deficiency probably makes the patient more susceptible to yeast infections.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is also caused by deficiency of Vitamin D. vitamin D has a half-life of two months in the human body. Subsequently if a person gets less sunlight the amount of vitamin D goes on declining consequently affecting the functioning of his immune system, making him an easy prey to yeast infections. Deficiency of vitamin D is also known to cause fatigue. As chronic fatigue sets in, the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract too are affected, reducing transit time, and causing food in the intestines to decay. This along with the wet and warm environment of the intestines makes an ideal condition for yeast to proliferate leading to yeast infection.
Yeast infection is a very complex syndrome and deficiency of vitamin D may only play a small part in its etiology. Taking massive doses of vitamin D will not cure a yeast infection overnight. This article is just to highlight the importance of balanced diet in health and prevention of infections. Treatment of yeast infections is best done through holistic approach. Lifestyle changes, good diet habits, exercise, weight reduction, stress management, nutritional supplementation are some of the aspects which the holistic practitioner will counsel on. This will improve overall health keep you disease free for a long time.