And Pigs Will Fly Out of My B***?

In early September, 2009 headlines read that 90,000 people could die in the US this flu season.  Get your flu shot!!!  Like this CNN reports that sites this number as well as the worn out typical of 40,000 deaths per year from the seasonal flu.

The swine has truly flown.  We had a very unusual flu season this year.  The peak for the seasonal flu usually occurs sometime between the last of January through the middle of March.  However, this year with the 2009 H1N1 we had a peak that occurred in October and then by the first of January the incidence of all influenza like illness dropped to below the baseline.  You can check out the graph of the hospitalizations for the US here.  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/updates/us/#iligraph There is more detailed information and graphs on this page: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/ for week 11/2010.

The question arises what happened to the normal spike for the regular flu.  I can see the spike occurring for the H1N1 for people who were susceptible to the virus and it occurring early in the winter.  However, how did that affect the seasonal flu that should have peaked in late February?  Every year up until now the spike has typically occurred in late winter.  What is different?

Perhaps what happened was the fear of people dying from the H1N1 motivated more people to get the regular flu vaccination.  Also if you think about it the H1N1 vaccine was not readily available until November.  People got vaccinated and the flu stopped?  I wonder when President Obama will make a speech taking credit for getting more people taking the flu vaccine and this is what caused the significant reduction and how as you read the following.

More confusion!?  The really interesting thing is that the table for total influenza like illness for hospitalizations shows 41, 551 with 2, 077 deaths. (table below the graph: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/updates/us/#iligraph).  How do you rationalize these numbers with the totals of what the CDC claims as typical at over 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths.  The insurance companies should really be happy this year as they had to pay significantly less to providers because of the low incidence of illness or have we just been lied to by the CDC.  It is truly confusing.  Do hospitals not report death?  I do not believe the federal guidelines would allow this.  Here is what the CDC has been telling you: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Since the drug companies or Obama have not taken credit, I think that I will just jump right in.  It is my hope that what really happened was that there was enough in the press about the antiviral affects of vitamin D that people in general took more.  It would not take a lot to make a huge impact in the population.  The one thing that did change this year is that for the first time, CVS, Walgreens, and the local Kerr Drug all carried vitamin D3 in 5,000 IU capsules.  Thank you Dr. Cannell!

I tried to find the percent of the population that took the vaccination for the H1N1 and for the seasonal flu without success.  This seems to be a closely held number.  I know that there are some reports that more than half of the H1N1 vaccines that the US ordered were not used but I cannot confirm.

Taking my D3 and getting a tan in the winter and the blues and flu just fly away.  I just love flying pigs  – Pandemic Survivor

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H1N1 and Vitamin D

H1N1 and Vitamin D

It seems to be medical fact that we get more cases of the flu in the winter than in the summer.  I have never had the flu in the summer or personally know anyone that has had the flu in the summer.  However, everyone that I know has had the flu in the winter.  It only seems logical that there is a seasonal occurrence that is driving this real phenomenon.

Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council has designated a complete newsletter to the understanding back May, 2009, H1N1 Flu and Vitamin D.  I referred to this newsletter in my first article on the flu and vitamin D, Another Pandemic, H1N1, Protect Yourself. Now Dr. Cannell gives us an update about children in his September 2009 Newsletter and how it is that children that are deficient with vitamin D are most likely at risk of getting the flu.  Vitamin D Studies of Interest

I am totally with Dr.  Cannell.  How can we simply just stand by and watch children suffer from this disease when we know that more than fifty to seventy percent of children are deficient depending  on which study you chose to read.  If you have children, be sure to keep them replete in vitamin D by following Dr. Cannell directions in this October 2008 newsletter Vitamin D in Pediatrics. Under vitamin D and dosage he states that in general that children need about 1000 IU of D3 for every 25 lbs of body weight per day.  I found this amount to be effective in adults as well.  I weigh 235 lbs and take 10,000 IU each day that I do not go into the sun and every day between the end of September and the end of March when we are in ‘vitamin D winter’.

So what are our country and the health organizations doing about this vitamin D deficiency and the relation to the flu?  Not much!  There is hope however as the Public Health Agency of Canada has decided to take the vitamin D level of people having the H1N1 virus.  This is really encouraging as Canada takes its lead for supplementations levels from the Institute of Medicine, IOM, here in the US.  If Canada confirms this finding that low levels of vitamin D are significant in relation to the flu then maybe the US will take action.  But here again, I am with Dr. Cannell, how many children have to die before we stop depending on just acquired immunity through flu shots and build our innate immunity through doing what is natural to us.  We must remember that the US is slow to act as the Canadian Cancer Institute requested all Canadians take a minimum of 1000 IU of D3 per day and the US did not follow.

You may read the story on the website of the Vitamin D Society of Canada:  http://www.vitamindsociety.org/

Story from the Globe and Mail.  http://www.vitamindsociety.org/news_article.php?id=26

The story broke here in the US by Nutraingrediants-usa.com and emaxhealth.com:  http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Canada-examines-vitamin-D-for-swine-flu-protection

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/83/33165/vitamin-d-might-protect-against-h1n1-flu.html

And then there is this article in how the US should follow Canada’s lead from the Health Sciences Institute in Baltimore:  http://hsibaltimore.com/2009/08/24/h1n1-prevention/

You know the thing that is most interesting is one of the references that is driving the Canadian study is a report from 1946 that shows evidence that persons with low vitamin D levels were more likely to have the flu.  Why have we waited so long to investigate!!??

On the heels of this comes the study from Oregon State University that states that primates have kept the vitamin D innate immunity system in place for 60 million years!  Here is the story, “Key feature of immune system survived in humans, other primates for 60 million years”, from Eurek Alert.  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/osu-kfo081809.php

Now what pops into my mind as I read this is Linus Pauling’s writings on vitamin C.  It was very clear that only primates and guinea pigs do not make their own vitamin C.  So why is it that the vitamin D immune system has survived in primates and not other mammals?  Maybe this is the system that has taken the place of the vitamin C system in primates.  So what do we do about it?  We tell people for the last fifty years to get out of the sun!!!!  I know that this may be somewhat of a leap, but I do not think it is much of one considering the research on vitamin D immunity.

You should read again this paragraph about vitamin D immunity from my post, A Tale of Two Women:  “Vitamin D3, it seems works, along several pathways to help heal disease.  Number one it helps at a genetic level to tell immature tumor cells that they are just that and to stop growing or cellular apoptosis. The D3 also helps the blood supply network that is feeding the tumor to stop growing from a genetic level because this is not the normal design of the body or angiogenesis.  Also it raises the level of innate immunity so the body develops appropriate defensins such as cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides, phagocytes, and neutrofil granulocites that help destroy and adsorb ‘bad cells’ and ‘foreign bodies’ in the blood system.  There is also an aid to T-cell regulation in this complex system of immunity.  And if you are taking chemo one of the problems is thrombosis and vitamin D3 helps to control this issue as well.”  What this paragraph says is that vitamin D raises the innate immune system to fight all pathogens including viruses.  This reminds me that I need to do a post on the immune system and vitamin D.  There is really some fascinating research out there – coming soon.

So maybe the true magic in healing comes from a balance of giving the body what it needs.  I believe that Dr. Cannell and Dr. Pauling are both correct and that in primates that vitamin D is a greater fighter of viruses than vitamin C.  This may be just the opposite for non-primate mammals where vitamin C immune system is more important than the vitamin D system. Non-primates make their own vitamin C and primates and guinea pigs do not make vitamin C.  This article from WebMD seems to support my understanding:  http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20090223/low-vitamin-d-levels-linked-to-colds You know Dr. Pauling was reported to have taken between 12 grams to 20 grams of vitamin C per day.  His contention was that the less colds and other infections that you have the longer you live.  He lived to be 93.  Imagine how long he may have lived if he had taken 5 to 10 thousand IU’s of D3 as well.  What a headache that we may cause for government to solve in a population of healthy ‘really’ old people!!!  I am sure that as soon as the government makes a proclamation to take more vitamin D that the retirement age will be raised at least 10 years.

Anyway, what should we do for ourselves and our children.  Be sure that they get enough of vitamin C and vitamin D this winter and I suspect if you do this we will have many happy endings.

Go into the sun this winter through supplementation!!!!!!!!!!!   Pandemic Survivor

Heart Disease, Cholesterol, and Vitamin D3

I have written several post of vitamin D and heart disease and there is so much more.  There is an exciting article about heart disease and the effect of vitamin D at WebMD.

By Dr. Michael Richman, MD, FACS on Cardiovascular Disease and Vitamin D.  Part 1 and Part 2.

As we begin our plunge into vitamin D winter then heart disease that has been arrested by getting an adequate amount from the sun will become more active.  As you can see from this Harvard news article, it is important to start supplementing with vitamin D.  However, here again we find that mainstream medicine is too conservative in the amount of vitamin D.  It is better to follow the directions from the home page of the Vitamin D Council to assure that your level of 25(OH)D3 is above 50 ng/ml to have the best effect on heart disease and the upcoming expectation of a serious flu season from the H1N1 virus.

As we have discussed in other post, vitamin D is made from cholesterol.  So the marketing of statin drugs and their use in lowering cholesterol may not be beneficial to your health.  The article, “Vitamin D is Synthesized From Cholesterol and Found in Cholesterol-Rich Foods” by Chris Masterjohn from May 2006 will give you a better understanding of how this works.  His comments on vitamin A are also important to the understanding of how A and D work together in your body.  Here is the research page from the Vitamin D Council on heart disease.

Going into the sun is not enough if you live above about 35 degrees North latitude after September.  Start supplementing to the directions of the Vitamin D Council.    – Pandemic Survivor

Another Pandemic – H1N1 – Protect Yourself

And the swine flew.  I had a friend that every time something unusual was uttered he would let out the phrase, ‘and pigs will fly out of my butt too’.  I guess that he meant that it was a total impossibility.  So now we have the swine flu and the ‘pigs are flying out of my friends butt’.

It truly seems strange to me that this virus is made up of two different versions of ‘bird flu’ that I believe are from two different continents and two different versions of the swine flu from two different continents and a version of the human flu.  WHOOO!  ‘Pigs are flying out of my butt’ as well.  When I think of a bird that flew his flu from North America and infected an Asian bird that infected an Asian swine that infected a European swine and ended up as the H1N1 in North America humans of a California variety, it makes me believe that pigs truly can fly.  Here is a summary of the WHO teleconference on the apparent origins of the various strains as a pdf. Note: All the links are set to open in another window.

Now there is another story that is floating around the alternative health blogs like Dr. Mercola and Mike Adams.  It seems that an investigative journalist from Austria has evidence that some sort of intentional release of this virus was made and she has filed criminal charges with the FBI against a host of people.  Here is the index page from Mike Adams, Natural News for the H1N1 virus. Also, here is Natural News pandemic page for the H1N1. Here is the article on charges being filed by author Barbara Minton:  It also is interesting that Jane Burgermeister has a blog on word press that is http://birdflu666.wordpress.com .  Cute url!?  Jane, for your sake, I truly hope that you have the ‘goods’ on all of these people because these are some really serious charges.  For the world’s sake, I hope not.

The other thing that is really concerning is that this version of the virus is mutating regularly so the vaccine, if you chose to take it, may not be effective on the mutated version.  This means you will have to take multiple boasters.  Also this virus has more activity in the lungs that the just ‘plain vanilla’ version of the seasonal flu.  What this means is that as the virus attacks you that pneumonia bacteria will take over in an opportunistic fashion and will result in a serious course for the combination of diseases.  It is the bacterial pneumonia that kills you and not the flu.  Here is an explanation from Dr. Donald W. Miller on LewRockwell.com on how he believes that it would be better not take the shot for multiple reasons.  Well, he agrees with Jane that you should not take the shot, but for medical reasons.  He says to take vitamin D!  What!?  Vitamin D not only affects chronic diseases, but infectious diseases as well.  Wow, it is no wonder that Oliver Gillie of the UK’s Health Research Forum in Sunlight Robbery says that vitamin D3 is a ‘magic shotgun’.

I like Dr. Miller because he writes well researched articles and his information is very clear.  I have used many of his articles to change my supplementation regimen.   Here is his index page for recent articles: http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller-arch.html His article on iodine has benefited me greatly: http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller20.html

So can we find more on taking vitamin D and how it affects the flu?  Yes, Dr. John Cannell, Director Vitamin D Council, has written two papers on vitamin D and the flu and how vitamin D controls the flu in a seasonal manner.  That is that you typically get the flu in the colder months and closer to the equator during the rainy season when there is less sun.  Here is how to protect yourself from Dr. Cannell at the Vitamin D Council Newsletter for H1N1.

I know this is a lot of information, but you know since I have kept my serum 25(OH)D above 50 ng/ml starting January 2005 I have not even had a cold.  I am just one anecdotal story but if you multiply that by all of those people that have taken Dr. Cannell’s advice then what a major study!!

Have a sunny day with lots of vitamin D year round!!!!!  – Pandemic Survivor