How Vitamin D Can Help Fight The Flu
It’s already January, and the cold and flu season is hitting hard. While it is normally a yearly ritual for people to get vaccinated for the flu, a growing body of evidence points to the relative ineffectiveness of flu vaccinations in preventing influenza. The Cochrane Database Review, for example, found that vaccines have at best a modest impact on working days lost to influenza, and had no effect on complications such as pneumonia. What’s more, getting vaccinated every year reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine, as recent studies have found. People who had not had a vaccination in the past five years actually responded better to the vaccine than those who got it yearly.
If the flu vaccine doesn’t work against influenza, then what does? Vitamin D. A scientific review of 25 randomized controlled trials revealed that Vitamin D cuts rates of colds and flu. People who took Vitamin D weekly or daily reported fewer colds and flu than those who did not. Researchers believe that colds and flus spike in the Wintertime because there is less sunlight, and therefore less exposure to Vitamin D. In another randomized, double blind study, children who were given Vitamin D versus placebo were 42 percent less likely to come down with the flu than the children in the control group.
How does Vitamin D work its magic? Vitamin D offers protection by increasing the antimicrobial peptides in the lungs, researchers contend. A recent study found that T cells need sufficient amounts of Vitamin D to activate. When a T cell detects foreign invaders like the flu virus, it will send signals to the Vitamin D Receptor gene, also known as the VDR gene. The VDR gene then produces a protein that binds Vitamin D in the T cell. A protein known as PLC gamma 1 is then produced, which allows the T cell to fight the infection. The reason why the flu vaccine can be so ineffective against influenza is that it does nothing to address the underlying problem many people face—Vitamin D deficiency.
The benefits of Vitamin D are so numerous, it’s just a good idea to make sure you are getting enough of it throughout the year, whether it be through supplements or good ‘ol fashioned exposure to the sun . Vitamin D can also slow down or reverse the build up of beta amyloid protein, which is a primary risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease. Adequate Vitamin D can help prevent cancer, heart disease, dementia and myopia (nearsightedness). For those wanting to boost their Vitamin D levels, sun exposure can help. It is also possible to get Vitamin D from milk, fish, egg yolks, and high-quality supplements.
If you’re wanting to head off the flu this year, Elevation Hydration has you covered with injections of Vitamin D3 for as little as 25 dollars, or you can get some Vitamin D3 in the Immune Tune, which includes Vitamin C, Zinc, and Glutathione. There are too many awesome winter activities in Colorado to be sick, stay healthy and make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D. Your body will thank you!