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Vitamin D & Flu


Vitamin D, flu and the common cold.

Vitamin D is antiviral and antibiotic.

It up regulates production of antimicrobial peptides - the bodies own natural antibiotics.
These are called cathlecedins or defensins.

When a virus or bacteria enters the body, these antimicrobial peptides puncture a hole 

in the lipoprotein (the coating) of the virus or bacteria rendering it useless to attack the system.

Generally we all think that colds and flus are more common in the wintertime

because there are more bugs around and that we tend to congregate indoors more.

The fact is that by September and October we are making less and less vitamin D in our skin.

As the sun recedes lower in the sky, the shorter UVB rays cannot penetrate the ozone.

By November and December, the supply of vitamin D is dwindling leaving us more vulnerable 

to a myriad of winter bugs. In March and April, unless we have been able to go to a sunny climate, 

or have been taking supplements throughout the winter, our vitamin D levels will have dropped to their lowest.

Vitamin D is so multi functional in the body that researchers are finding new links to its

functions all the time. There has not been much interest in furthering or funding research into vitamin D
because it is a natural substance and costs very little to extract and put in a pill.

Pharmaceutical companies have no interest in funding research into something
that they would be unable to patent and profit from.

We are lucky that independent researchers have done the research and we are now seeing the dramatic results.

For more information click on the links below:

Is Influenza a Symptom of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Getting back to vitamin D, Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an underlying cause of influenza, which would help explain its apparent benefits as a flu-fighter. His hypothesis was published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006, which was followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal in 2008.

Dr. Cannell's hypothesis received further support and confirmation when, in the following year, the largest and most nationally representative study of its kind to date discovered that people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu.

In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde stated:

"The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu. Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency."

The evidence supporting Dr. Cannell's hypothesis of influenza as a symptom of vitamin D deficiency is so compelling that I, for one, believe optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best flu-prevention strategies available to date. But that's not to say it's the only factor. Your overall immune function cannot be ignored, and when it comes to maintaining optimal immune function, your diet becomes sacrosanct.


  1. New Study Shows Vitamin D Cuts Flu by Nearly 50 Percent - Mercola - United States
    by Joseph Mercola - in 234 Google+ circles
    14 Dec 2011 – The evidence supporting Dr. Cannell's hypothesis of influenza as asymptom of vitamin D deficiency is so compelling that I, for one, believe ...

  1. The Vitamin Which Can Cut Your Flu Risk Nearly in Half 

    A mostly-ignored 2010 study found that taking even very low doses of this vitamin cuts your chances of getting the flu by a very significant 42% -- for the more severe Type A influenza. It's such an easy fix... Can't you just imagine how pleasant winter would be without the flu?

    It's Not the Dosage that Matters—It's the Serum Level

    Some 40 leading vitamin D experts from around the world currently agree that the most important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level. So you really should be taking whatever dosage required to obtain a therapeutic level of vitamin D in your blood.


    Dr Cannell's newsletter

    Edgar Hope-Simpson was a self-taught young genius epidemiologist who turned into a gracious old man obsessed with his hypothesized ‘seasonal stimulus’ for epidemic influenza. He was the scientist who discovered the aetiology of shingles, but he was also the man who seemingly wasted the last 20 years of his life trying to untangle the manifold mysteries of influenza. Among his last written words, he cordially pleaded with the giants of influenzology, ‘it might be rewarding if persons, who are in a position to do so, would look more closely at the operative mechanisms that are causing such seasonal behaviour’. He died bereft of any recognition of his discovery that epidemiology of influenza is controlled by an unknown ‘seasonal stimulus’, whose character is dominated by a distinct aversion to sunlight.