A new article from Dr. Mercola points out another excellent benefit of Vitamin D supplementation!
“According to the findings from a 2010 study that didn’t get any widespread attention, vitamin D is a highly effective way to avoid influenza.
In fact, children taking low doses of Vitamin D3 were shown to be 42 percent less likely to come down with the flu.
The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study included 430 children aged 6-15, who were followed between December 2008 and March 2009.
Half were given 1,200 IU’s of vitamin D3 daily, while the other half received a placebo.
Influenza strains were determined through lab testing of nose and throat swabs.
Eighteen of the children taking vitamin D contracted influenza Type A, compared to 31 children in the placebo group.
Type B influenza rates were unaffected by vitamin D use, however, the illness resulting from Type B influenza strains is typically milder than Type A.
Considering the fact that influenza was reduced by 42 percent at a dose of just 1,200 IU’s a day, it’s possible that even better results might be obtained with higher dosages—depending on just how deficient you are to begin with, of course, because it’s not really the dosage that matters; it’s the amount of vitamin D in your blood.
Is Vitamin D Deficiency a Cause of Influenza?
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.”