Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D, Get SUN!

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By Dr. John Cannell, Atascadero State Hospital, 10333 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA

Excerpts from Dr. Cannells article     at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/51913.php

Dr. John Jacob Cannell

All of the patients on my ward had been taking 2,000 units of vitamin D every day for   several months or longer. Could that be the reason none of my patients caught the  flu?

Vitamin D does not exist in appreciable quantities in normal human diets. True, you   can get several thousand units in a day if you feast on sardines for breakfast, herring for lunch and salmon for dinner.

Studies have found the influenza virus is present in the population year-around; why is it a wintertime illness? Even the common cold got its name because it is common in cold weather and rare in the summer. Vitamin D blood levels are at their highest in the summer but reach their lowest levels during the flu and cold season. Could such a simple explanation explain these mysteries?

We have only recently learned how vitamin D increases production of antimicrobial peptides while simultaneously preventing the immune system from releasing too many inflammatory cells, called chemokines and cytokines, into infected lung tissue.

We recommend that enough vitamin D be taken daily to maintain 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels at levels normally achieved through summertime sun exposure (50 ng/ml). For many persons, such as African Americans and the elderly, this will require up to 5,000 units daily in the winter and less, or none, in the summer, depending on summertime sun exposure.

HOW TO GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D

There are 3 ways for adults to insure adequate levels of vitamin D:

  • regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible.
  • regularly use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.
  • take 5,000 IU per day for three months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.     http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
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