Skip to comments.Vitamin D as effective as vaccine in preventing flu
Posted on 03/15/2010 5:38:06 PM PDT by neverdem
Taking high doses of vitamin D3 supplements in winter helps reduce risk of acquiring seasonal flu in winter, a new Japanese trial demonstrated.
The trial results, reported in the March 10, 2010 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show that children given vitamin D(3) supplement were 42 percent less likely to get infected with seasonal flu than those who were given a placebo.
The efficacy is remarkable as it may be comparable to that of flu vaccine, which is generally low because the virus used to construct the vaccine is likely different from the circulating one.
Deficiency of Vitamin D, which is synthesized after human skin is exposed to sunlight or UV rays, has been associated with increased risk of seasonal flu and swine flu as well. However, most of such studies were epidemiological or observational.
In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urashima and colleagues at Division of Molecular Epidemiology Jikei University School of Medicine Minato-ku in Tokyo Japan gave one group of schoolchildren 1,200 international units per day of vitamin D(3) and another group a placebo to see how vitamin D would prevent seasonal flu.
The primary outcome of the trial was the incidence of influenza A and diagnosis was established by testing a flu antigen in a nasopharyngeal swab specimen.
During the trial between Dec 2008 and March 2009, 18 of 167 (10.8%) children given vitamin D tested positive for flu infection compared to 31 of 167 (18.6) children in the placebo group. The relative risk is 0.58, meaning those taking vitamin D were at 42 percent reduced risk of seasonal flu.
The anti-flu effect was found much more significant among children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements and who started nursery school after age 3. The reduction in the risk was 64 percent for both groups.
In a subgroup of children who were previously diagnosed with asthma, 2 children taking vitamin D supplements experienced asthma attacks while 12 children receiving placebo suffered asthma attacks - meaning that vitamin D cut the risk by 83 percent.
The researchers concluded that the results suggest that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter time may reduce the incidence of influenza A.
Dr. John Cannell, one of most knowledgeable vitamin D experts in the world and director of Vitamin D Council, a non-profit organization, and colleagues earlier published a heavy-weight review article in a scientific journal called Virology explaining that vitamin D is needed for the production of antibacterial peptides which help prevent flu.
In winter, people tend to stay indoors. Those who lack exposure to sunshine are prone to becoming vitamin D deficient. This is why people in winter are at higher risk of influenza including seasonal flu.
Dr. Cannell suggests adults can take 5,000 IU per day and try to maintain a blood level of 50 to 80 ng/mL (or 125 to 200 nm/L) year-round. One early study suggests that it is safe for schoolchildren to take 2,000 IU per day for a year without any noticeable side effects.
Vitamin D is found only in a few foods including eggs and fatty fish like salmon. Because of this, the vitamin D is fortified in some foods like milk, orange juice and cereals. But vitamin D levels in such foods are fairly low and you may have to drink literally 20 glasses of milk to get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are a good source of the nutrient even though sunshine is the best.
Dr. Cannell cautions that high intake of vitamin A can reduce the efficacy of vitamin D. Cod liver oil, high in vitamin A while relatively low in vitamin D, is not as good as it used to be as a vitamin D source.
A health observer suggests that regardless of your vaccination status, an adequate level of serum vitamin D should be maintained to prevent flu and many other serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes..
For more detailed information on vitamin D, visit Vitamin D Council.
By David Liu and editing by Denise Reynolds
Just ordered 2000IU capsules from Source naturals. That along with the 1000IU in the Orange Triad I take should be good.
I take 5k IU a day. Read somewhere that some doctors are taking 50k/week.
One thing for sure, I feel great!
I take 5K i.u./day as well. My 25-OH(D) level a few months ago was 75.
The only folks that don’t want you to know this are the CDC
(Criminal Drug Coalition) and Big Pharma.
They would rather inject you with insect DNA/viruses and Genetically modified material that Nature never intended to exist, much less come in contact with human beings.
My tinfoil hat is securely on.
More positive Vit D3 study results ........... PING!
I take 2,800 IU of vitamin D daily. It’s especially important in the winter when you don’t get much sun.
You know, I just lived through the entire flu season here in Los Angeles teaching at a public school downtown. I didn’t get vaccinated, I didn’t take vitamins, I didn’t do anything but my nightly dose of vodka tonic and I got through it just fine.
I find that the extra D helps me to stay warmer. I used to be really cold all the time and now it is waaaay better.
How about that?
What this doesn’t say is how severe was the flu in the two groups, for those who came down with it.
Vit D ping
I take 2000IU daily after reading about Vit D and cancer. Unfortunately, I’m suffering through the worst flu now. Oh well.
I would hope that it is at least 1000 times as ‘effective’ as the vaccine, which is nothing but a virus incubator scam foisted on the public.
I don’t get vaccines, and I do take natural supplements, and I don’t get colds, or flu.
Gonna need more than that pretty soon; like kevlar body armor for the BATF-style raids that the FDA has planned for herbal supplement users.
Just not getting vaccinated helps a lot!
I was very happy to find D3 in a liqued form.
Works perfect in KVs feeding g-tube.
Oily caps screw everything up/pills didnt work so well in the melting mode either.
When I saw the two pak big bottles of fruit liqued 10cc/2000mg dose bottles at Costco I was elated.
LOL thinks like that get me excited. Anything to make the care plan go smoother.
I like me lil itty bitty VD3 pills.
Kinda bummed we both managed to get colds twice and we are never get colds kinda family.
Perhaps because we never got a chance to be shut in this winter.
KV been busy, very busy. : )
Yep and our bone/aches and pain due to specific disability have improved somewhat.
Unless I over due it...on feet 17hrs or climb ladders or he is up in his WC out and about too many days in a row.
Or if your a night owl.
16 Mar 2010
Preventing and treating heart disease in some patients could be as simple as supplementing their diet with extra vitamin D, according to two new studies at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah.
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute last fall demonstrated the link between vitamin D deficiency and increased risk for coronary artery disease. These new studies show that treating vitamin D deficiency with supplements may help to prevent or reduce a person's risk for cardiovascular disease and a host of other chronic conditions. They also establish what level of vitamin D further enhances that risk reduction.
Study findings was presented at the American College of Cardiology 59th annual scientific session in Atlanta on March 15, 2010.
"Vitamin D replacement therapy has long been associated with reducing the risk of fractures and diseases of the bone," says Dr. J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. "But our findings show that vitamin D could have far greater implications in the treatment and reduction of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions than we previously thought."
For the first study, researchers followed two groups of patients for an average of one year each. In the first study group, over 9,400 patients, mostly female, reported low initial vitamin D levels, and had at least one follow up exam during that time period. Researchers found that 47 percent of the patients who increased their levels of vitamin D between the two visits showed a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.
In the second study, researchers placed over 31,000 patients into three categories based on their levels of vitamin D. The patients in each category who increased their vitamin D levels to 43 nanograms per milliliter of blood or higher had lower rates of death, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, high blood pressure, depression, and kidney failure. Currently, a level of 30 nanograms per milliliter is considered "normal."
Heidi May, PhD, a cardiovascular clinical epidemiologist with the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, and one of the study's authors, says the link between low levels of vitamin D and increased risk for a variety of diseases is significant.
"It was very important to discover that the 'normal' levels are too low. Giving physicians a higher level to look for gives them one more tool in identifying patients at-risk and offering them better treatment," says Dr. May.
Dr. Muhlestein says the results of these studies will change the way he treats his patients.
"Although randomized trials would be useful and are coming, I feel there is enough information here for me to start treatment based on these findings," he says.
Treatment options in this case are simple, starting with a blood test to determine a patient's vitamin D level. If low levels are detected, supplements and/or increased exposure to sunlight may be prescribed.
Increasing vitamin D intake by 1000 to 5000 international units (IU) a day may be appropriate, depending on a patient's health and genetic risk, says Dr. Muhlestein. He says supplements are the best source of vitamin D because they are relatively inexpensive and can be found at almost any supermarket or drug store. Most supplements provide an average of 400 IU per tablet.
While exposure to 20-30 minutes of sunlight can provide up to 10,000 IU, Dr. Muhlestein says it is important to use sunscreen and avoid the hottest parts of the day in order to avoid sunburn and the harmful UV rays associated with skin cancer.
Jess C. Gomez
Intermountain Medical Center
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182425.php
Wow, is that even safe?
I ask because I am very pale, susceptible to skin cancer, and have been advised to stay out of the sun. I take a tiny amount, about 1000 IU a day.
I’m taking 35k a week and feel wonderful. I’m not that pale but I am susceptible to skin cancer so don’t get in the sun much..plus I work in an office and live in the Northwest.
However, don’t take my advice...check with your doctor or a source you trust.
Better stock up on them majorly. Do not trust the Gov not to find some reason to pull them off the shelves if they are are effective and take substantial amounts of revenue away from drug manufacturers.
Wow! Thank you for the ping!!! Just trying to convince someone today about taking Vitamin D3 for so many reasons in 4000 IU / day! Used your 92 year old Grandmother as the “test case” for this person to learn from.
(This person is 88 years old and has many aches and pains of all kinds. He refused to take vitamin D3 because he “takes enough pills already - and just will not take one more pill”.
Do you have any more info you can share with me about how your 92 year old mother is doing and what her dose of Vitamin D3 is doing? Do you have any specific info about how this has helped her “aches and pains” of aging???
How many units do you take a day?
I wish I could stock up, unfortunately they have an expiration date.
3000 IUs currently.
My naturopath recommends 10,000 units a day. What are your thoughts on this?
I guess it really depends on the individual. I learned quite a bit from the link in my post #7 in this thread. Take a look at it, it’s a really good read for a quick summary.
Vitamin D ping.
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