Worried about the swine flu epidemic that’s going to ravage the nation any minute now? Of course you are!
So click over to the Heart Scan Blog for the lowdown on vitamin D’s protective effects against influenza. Free sample:
In 2006, Dr. Cannell reports noticing that the patients in his psychiatric ward in northern California were completely spared from the influenza epidemic of that year, while plenty of patients in adjacent wards were coming down with flu. Dr. Cannell proposed that the apparent immunity to flu in his patients may have been due to the modest dose of 2000 units vitamin D per day he had prescribed that the patients in other wards had not been given. …
A similar conclusion was reached in a recent analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey demonstrating that the higher the vitamin D blood level, the less likely respiratory infections were.
Personally, I used to suffer through 2 or 3 episodes of a runny nose, sore throat, hacking cough, fevers and feeling crumby every winter. Over the last 3 years since I’ve supplemented vitamin D, I haven’t been sick even once. The past two years I didn’t bother with the flu vaccine, since I suspected that my immunity had been heightened: no flu either winter.
And so it has been with the majority of my patients. Since I began having patients supplement vitamin D to achieve normal blood levels (we aim for 60-70 ng/ml), viral and bacterial infections have become rare.
New research is uncovering myriad new ways that vitamin D enhances natural immune responses to numerous infections, including tuberculosis, bacteria such as those causing periodontal disease and lung infections, and viruses like the influenza virus. Enhanced immunity against cancer is also an intensive area of research on vitamin D.
Following Kaus’s First Rule of Journalism, “Always generalize wildly from your own personal experience,” I would just add that since I’ve been supplementing with Vitamin D about a year and a half ago with a dose varying from 2000 to 6000 IU per day, I haven’t had so much as a sore throat. Case closed!