Flu is Vitamin D Deficiency DiseaseHealthy Living
The answer is always the almighty dollar. Follow the green and you know why this simple flu prevention strategy is completely ignored. I personally haven’t had the flu in over 8 years since I was informed of the critical role of vitamin D in preventing illness and have worked to keep my vitamin D blood levels adequate.
In fact, I am so unafraid of the flu that I would be comfortable in a room full of swine flu patients with no mask! Fact is, you are not going to “catch” the flu if your vitamin D blood levels are normal any more than a sailor would “catch” scurvy if he is consuming adequate vitamin C. Current estimates are that over 90% of Americans are deficient in this all important vitamin. The reason flu “comes around” during the winter months is because that is the time when folks are bundled up and getting little to no sun exposure. UVB rays are an excellent source of vitamin D which is another reason why flu cases go down the further south you track it in the winter and disappear during summer months.
Help End the Government’s Shameful Silence About Vitamin D–the Natural Way to Prevent and Treat Flu Including Swine Flu!
January 5, 2010
With hundreds of thousands of seasonal flu-related complications, more than 35,000 deaths from the flu, and countless more from the H1N1 flu expected this season, ANH-USA asks the obvious question: What are the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Health and Human Services (HHS) doing about it? The answer: Not much!
Our goal is to persuade the CDC, FDA, NIH, and HHS to step up to the plate and help educate the public about the critical role Vitamin D plays in preventing and treating the seasonal and H1N1 flus along with many other health problems. In particular, we are asking the CDC, FDA, HHS, and NIH to issue statements outlining the immense benefits to be gained from supplementation during the flu season. In addition, HHS should update the government’s web site, www.flu.gov to include well established facts about Vitamin D.
Studies show that least one-third of Americans are wholly deficient in Vitamin D. We all need to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D year-round, not just during flu season. The government has an important role to play in getting this message out, but says nothing at all.
In anticipation of the government’s programmed response — that even more research needs to be done — we are also asking the CDC, FDA, NIH, and HHS to support and fund additional research on the importance of maintaining adequate levels of Vitamin D, including the link between Vitamin D and flu prevention and treatment.
Why is the government utterly silent about Vitamin D and its benefits? Could it be because big corporations are not pushing such an inexpensive and readily available form of prevention and treatment? Whatever the reason, the government’s silence is shameful. Please sign our petition to these agencies now. Take Action Here
Vitamin D: The Super Supplement
Vitamin D is safe and effective for the prevention and treatment of seasonal and H1N1 flus. The scientific research is clear. Yet CDC, FDA, NIH, and HHS continue to tow the vaccine only line, working in close partnership with vaccine manufacturers who will make billions of dollars and who have been shielded from any liability by Congress.
This obsession with a vaccine approach makes little sense given the lack of time to test the vaccine for safety and efficacy and the challenge of producing enough vaccine on time. It makes even less sense when there are natural ways to prevent and treat the illness that have been thoroughly validated by science.
We are all familiar with the adaptive immune response. Our bodies mount a defense against a new invader and then maintain antibodies against future attacks by the same invader. This is exactly how vaccines are meant to work. But for such an immune response to work, your own immune system has to be primed and ready to do its job. Good nutrition is critical for this. Vitamin D is especially critical. Your immune system will not work without it.
Common sense tells us that what we eat will strengthen or weaken our immune systems. For some of the science behind this, see an article by Laura Landro, published in the November 24, 2009, issue of the Wall Street Journal. But even the best diet will not give us the amount of Vitamin D needed for the immune system to reach its full potential.
What Exactly Does Vitamin D Do?
When Vitamin D is lacking, we become a prime target for flu and the H1N1 Swine Flu. By contrast, those with sufficient levels of Vitamin D are able to fight off or throw off these attacking pathogens. Vitamin D boosts the innate immune response in many ways, but in particular by turning on an antimicrobial protein.
Vitamin D also balances the immune response, preventing inflammation that can lead to flu-related complications such as bacterial pneumonia or lung infection. Inflammation was the leading cause of deaths in the 1918 influenza pandemic .
Our vitamin-D mediated immune response has been with us through more than 60 million years of pre-human and human evolutionary selection. It must be critical to our survival, according to researchers at Ohio State University.
Flu is at least in part a Vitamin D deficiency disease. But the benefits of this wonder supplement go far beyond the flu. As John Cannell, MD, founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Counsel, has noted: “Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.” We join the Vitamin D Council in urging our government to break its silence about this wonder supplement.
Will the Government Act Before Countless More Suffer Needlessly?
Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, complained for years that the FDA dragged its feet and ignored the science about the need for folic acid supplementation to prevent neural tube birth defects in newborns. Under fierce pressure, the FDA finally admitted the truth and such defects were reduced. Now the FDA is again refusing to tell the American people about another supplement which can save lives, this time in a flu pandemic, but also in reducing heart disease and cancer and other life destroying conditions.
The government has created a web site (www.flu.gov) expressly dedicated to educating the public about flu, including Swine Flu. This site however says nothing about natural forms of prevention and treatment, including even Vitamin D.
We are now asking the CDC, FDA, NIH, and HHS to tell the truth about the immense benefits to be gained from Vitamin D supplementation during the flu season and year round. We are also requesting that HHS update the government’s web site, www.flu.gov to include the incontestable scientific research behind Vitamin D.
There are reliable scientific studies showing a positive correlation between Vitamin D and a decrease in flu occurrence and complications. There is good science explaining this correlation. If the government nevertheless believes more studies are in order, we request that the government sponsor and pay for more trials.
What Can Be Done this Flu Season?
As Bill Faloon of the Life Extension Foundation has pointed out, many doctors are not trained to recognize a Vitamin D deficiency until rickets develop in children or osteomalacia (softening of the bones) develops in adults . Even so, many doctors are now urging their patients to supplement with Vitamin D.
Whether your doctor is up to date or not, you should take the initiative. Have your Vitamin D level checked. If you are below an optimum Vitamin D level, take a supplement. Changing your diet alone cannot create optimal Vitamin D levels. Only supplementation or sufficient exposure to the sun (without sun block and when the sun’s rays are sufficiently strong) can do that.
The blood work that checks Vitamin D status is called the 25, hydroxy vitamin D test. Some experts are satisfied with a minimum reading of 30 ng/ml, but it is doubtful that this is high enough to make your immune system work at optimal levels. While a level of 30 ng/ml defines the bottom of the normal range, Integrative doctors often like to see levels of 70 or 80 (but no higher than 100) ng/ml. Use of the blood test is the best way to prevent over-dosing.
Seniors are especially apt to be vitamin D deficient and have been found to be less likely to succumb to all causes of mortality when they have optimal levels of vitamin D. Young people are also often deficient even though Vitamin D is essential as the body grows and matures.
The most recent Harvard Heart Letter confirms that at least one-third of Americans of all ages are Vitamin D deficient. “Deficient” in this instance was defined as less than 20 ng/ml of 25-hydroxy vitamin D. The Harvard letter stated that supplements are the simplest and safest way to get vitamin D and recommended 800 to 1,000 IU from supplements as a daily goal. The Vitamin D Council recommends 5,000 IU daily, but in conjunction with blood testing. The U.S. government claims to be highly concerned about Swine flu and the general health of the American public, but does not even recommend 800 IU. For the most part, it says nothing.
Imagine for a moment that a drug company announced the development of a new drug matching the preventive and curative properties of Vitamin D. Does anyone think the government would remain silent about such a new drug? Of course not. The government would promote the use of the new wonder drug.
This is a scandal. Please join us in asking the government to do its duty to the American people by telling the truth about Vitamin D for flu and for general health. Take Action Here
For more on the extensive science behind Vitamin D, please click here .
For additional discussion on Vitamin D, see any of the following:
Dr. Mercola provides a lecture covering resources, research, and recommendations on Vitamin D in addition to many other articles.
Natural News provides links to more than 200 featured Vitamin D articles.
Life Extension Magazine also provides additional important articles (shown below), covering the critical role of Vitamin D and an assessment of just how Vitamin D deficient we all probably are.
Bill Faloon Vit D article, 2009
Life Extension Foundation Vitamin D article, 2009
Julius Goepp, MD Vitamin D article 2009
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.