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A new study found correlations with NK Cell activity, vitamin D status and exercise habits. Since NK cells are a vitally important first-line defense against pathogens, these findings have timely, real-world implications.

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0:00 Intro.

01:15 Your adaptive immune system provides immunologic memory.

01:40 Natural killer cells are part of your innate immune system, which has no memory and provides an all or nothing response.

01:50 Increased expression of innate immune system activation is found with obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

02:55 Overweight individuals tend to have a higher viral load.

03:10 Natural killer cells deal with pathogens, bacteria, and viruses and cytokines released by natural killer cells, help to signal your adaptive immune system.

04:00 Natural killer cells are important in preventing cancer.

04:15 Vitamin D and exercise are major determinants of natural killer cell activity.

04:40 Age, gender, vitamin D and exercise are associated with immune function determined by natural killer cell activity.

04:45 Age was a determining factor for low natural killer cell activity in men, but not women.

05:10 Sufficient levels of vitamin D reduced risk of low natural killer cell activity in men.

05:30 Exercise reduced risk of low natural killer cells in women and in both men and women over the age of 60.

05:45 A natural killer cell assay is not commercially available here in the US.

07:30 Decreased natural killer cell function in immunologically normal elderly is associated with increased risk for severe infections and mortality in general.

07:40 Natural killer cells may play a critical role in the early immune response.

08:20 An exhausted innate immune system can become depleted with a severe infection.

10:20 Medium to high intensity exercise decreased the risk for very low natural killer cell activity in women.

11:50 The vitamin D level sweet spot appears to be between 40 and 60 nanograms/ml.

13:25 Low natural killer cell activity in women did not seem be impacted by age as much as with men.

13:55 The size of your thymus gland and the amount of T cells that you produce decline (immunosenescence) as you age. Natural killer cells may compensate for this.

14:40 Over-exercise is associated with greater odds of low natural killer cell activity.

15:30 Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were associated with increased susceptibility to C*19

17:00 Immune system assays are expensive. You can triangulate looking at things like white blood cell count, C-reactive protein.

20:45 Each 1 unit increase in BMI, reflected a 12% increase in the risk for severe C*19.

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