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Flu & Why You Need To Supplement With Vitamin D During The Winter Months

 width= There has been plenty of media attention on the severity of the flu season this winter. You might be wondering why the flu is so much more likely to rear its head during the cold months.

Why is the flu more common in winter?

One reason is that the influenza virus lives longer outside the human body when it is cold and dry. The other reason is the lack of good vitamin D levels during the winter. With much of the western world being deficient in this vital vitamin (even in summer) when winter arrives with its weak winter sun, there is absolutely no chance to boost those levels without resorting to vitamin D3 supplements.

What is the average vitamin D level of those in the USA?

The average vitamin D level of Americans is approximately 24 ng/ml. At least 48 scientists agree that the optimal vitamin D levels are between 40 to 60 ng/ml (or 100 to 150 nmol/L). So the majority of us have a very long way to go.
  • Vitamin D has proven highly effective at preventing the flu.
  • Flu is actually a vitamin D deficiency disease.
  • In the paper “On the epidemiology of influenza,” authors suggest that vitamin D reduces the risk of influenza infection likely through induction of another molecule, cathelicidin, which activates genes involved in immune defense. This is explained in the section – Vitamin D, innate immunity, and influenza.
  • The risk of the common cold – in medical terms a respiratory tract infection (RTI) - has also been found to be effectively reduced with good vitamin D levels.

Awareness of the benefits of good vitamin D levels is growing

There are many today who have their vitamin D levels regularly tested, educate themselves on the benefits of high levels of vitamin D - and take positive action by getting plenty of sunlight during the summer months and supplementing during the colder, winter months. I have managed to keep clear of any flu for many years with the help of plenty of sunshine during the summer and supplementing all year round with a daily 5000 IUs of a good quality vitamin D3. My levels fluctuate between summer (70 ng/ml) and winter (59 ng/ml) but still hovers on the upper levels in spite of my darker skin and advancing age!

And, if you succumb to the sniffles and shivers?

At the very first sign of a runny nose or scratchy throat, I take large doses of vitamin C several times a day and gargle with natural salt and water (also several times a day) - and the symptoms soon disappear. If you are worried about taking too much vitamin C, you can safely go to bowel intolerance and then stop. We share 6 steps to help you to recover quickly from the flu. For most people, flu is an inconvenience and not life threatening but of course, if you have severe symptoms or just feel worse every day, then you should seek medical advice. Test your vitamin D level today!