Vitamin D has now been revealed as a significant hormone in the function of animals. This includes everything from fighting infection to preventing a host of chronic diseases. It has also been shown to have pathways on over 2700 genes or more than ten percent of our genome. With so many benefits, there is a huge disconnect in the medical profession that any one thing can be this significant to life. But if we pause and think about it, this hormone is produced in our skin after exposure to the sun. This is our connection to the sun or the energy source for the biomass of the earth.
With this understood the question becomes, what is our best benefit. I think that the best benefit is definitely as an infection fighter. Just small amounts have a significant impact on colds and the flu or any infection that is a result of viruses. Forget about all of the science studies and think how much healthier the population is in the summer as opposed to the winter. This can be directly linked to the amount of exposure to the sun. If you think about the last time you had a cold in the summer, it was most likely because you had not been exposed to the sun or it was not a viral infection. Do not get me wrong. Vitamin D fights other pathogens as well, but typically it requires higher levels of the hormone to effective.
Linus Pauling in his book, “How to Live Longer and Feel Better” argued that taking supplements was necessary to fight many diseases including the big three killers, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. His thought was the need in particular for vitamin C to help fight off these diseases and colds and the flu. He states that the less infections that you have during your life time, the probably for a longer healthier life exists. It is interesting how the medical community shunned him and his ideas on vitamins. How could this be for the only man that had two unshared Nobel Prizes? The science community eats its own when a member interferes with the opportunity to make money. The general comment of the medical community is ‘it is only vitamins’.
Think about your children for a minute. If you are sure that they are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D and vitamin C how unlikely they are to have colds, the flu, and yes asthma attacks. If you are a parent trying to get through these early years of exposure to a highly contagious environment then supplements are your best friend. Think about yourself. I have not had a cold since 2004 because of this combination of supplementation. Now in the winter, I have to be creative to come up with an excuse to not be at work. Sometimes I miss my colds for this reason and then I think of all the misery. You really do not need an excuse to take off from work for your ‘mental’ health.
Here is the best summary of the benefits of vitamin D and what levels to take to prevent colds and the flu. It is provided by Dr. Mercola. If you do not already receive his newsletter, then I encourage you to sign up as he provides a wealth of information. “The Vitamin That Can Cut Your Flu Risk in Half” Vitamin C and Vitamin D and its summer all year – Pandemic Survivor
A quick review of the influenza-like illness in the US for the week ending January 21, shows the flu is staying low. The really interesting thing is that the trend is downward. There are lower highs of the incidence of patients seeking aid and lower lowers. This type of pattern in random events like the incidence of flu or a stock market is called a flag pattern. The pattern usually allows for a consolidation of events toward the convergence and then trends in the direction that formed the flag or downward in our case. If the incidence does not go above the baseline this year then something significant is happening. From the CDC:
What is that something that is really significant? Either we are doing a great job of vaccination or people are taking a significant amount of vitamin D which means the population is acting like it is summertime all year. If you note the spike in 2008 which was a mild year for the flu; it occurred about the first week of March. If we make it until the first of March without a significant spike then I say Waa Hoo! You can bet that a multi-national like P&G and their NyQuil sales are fully aware of what is happening with cold and flu trends.
Have you had a cold or the flu this year with a serum level of 25(OH)D above 50 ng/ml, let me know. – Pandemic Survivor
I have not had the flu or a cold since 2004, the year that I begin to take vitamin D. Is it just possible that the entire population could protect itself from the flu by just maintaining a summertime level of vitamin D year round? I do believe the answer to this question is yes.
In just checking the CDC flu information, I found a significant variation below what is expected this time of year for the flu. There are several possibilities as to why this is the case. Of course the government is going to say it is the effectiveness of their programs of prevention that includes trying to get everyone vaccinated with the flu shot. It is just normal statistical variation. There are more people taking vitamin D and this has helped to reduce the total number of flu cases. Here is the info for mortality and people seeking medical attention for flu symptoms:
Did you notice the dip on the last week of people seeking help for flu symptoms? You would normally start to expect an ‘up-tick’ this time of year. It is also significant to note that the death rate is below the normal control limits for this time of year. This definitely means that something unusual is happening.
The bird flu of 2006 and the swine flu of 2009 turned out to be nothing but just over concern by the agencies that are involved in monitoring disease. There were two op-eds that also caught my attention. “Fear Gone Viral” by Wendy Orent in the LA Times reports that the US government has requested two studies not be published with methods for making the flu more transmittable in populations. This has got the world health organizations in an uproar over how one country is able to control science. Why are we studying how to make the flu more easily transmittable?
The other interesting story was about the ineffectiveness of Tamiflu and how the studies that were published on the use were falsified. It does not surprise me in that we spent a billion dollars in 2006 to make this drug readily available. It seems that there were fourteen unreported side effects. The cure seems to have been more dangerous than the flu. “No Magic Bullet on the Flu” David Finkelstein LA Times
Magic Bullet for the Flu – Vitamin D! – Pandemic Survivor