Freaked out by flu season? Take control with Vitamin D3.
Well it’s that time of year again. Time for the flu to strike. And this year, like many that have come before, there’s a lot of hype surrounding the flu – headlines such as: “An earlier than usual start to flu season” and “Flu season could be worst in nearly a decade.” Pharmacies have strategically placed banners and signs advertising flu shots, providing the illusion that each individual can be in control of his/her own health destiny by taking this one simple step.
Although I do agree that we each have quite a bit of control over whether or not we come down with the flu my strategy to assure that I don’t fall prey to this seasonal bully does not include getting a flu shot. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that I believe there is an easier, healthier method that is devoid of side effects and allergic reactions and will cover every strain of the flu, not just those guessed by the experts to be most likely villains for the current season. I suppose my curiosity regarding the strange timing of “flu season” expressed in questions like “why does the flu suddenly begin to wreak havoc roughly between October and April of each year, typically peaking in January and February?” and “Isn’t it sort of curious why the flu doesn’t strike much during the summer months?” resulted in an undeniable conclusion that I found would be easy to apply to my own life and help me avoid not only the flu, but poor health in general – supplementing with Vitamin D3.
After much research, I found that there are lots of theories out there regarding the timing of this viral illness, however it is apparent to me that there is one small but very significant variable that can cause the increase of flu cases during the non-summer months: the body’s inability to produce Vitamin D3 during that time.
Our skin can do a great job of producing Vitamin D3 for us. There is one catch however. We need to be exposed to the sun’s rays in order for this process to be triggered. Lack of these rays (or simply their decrease in intensity) due to the increased distance between the sun and the earth during the winter, leads our body to manufacture little, if any, of this critical substance. Our bodies become deficient in D3 during this time, which means that there is only enough D3 in our system to perform its most critical function – as a regulator of calcium in the blood. The lack of any “extra” D3 means that there is not enough available to boost immune system function or for disease prevention – two functions of this substance that recent studies have found to be nothing short of miraculous. It is for this reason that supplementation with Vitamin D3 becomes so important, especially during the non-summer months.
To receive the extra benefits of Vitamin D3, i.e. maintain good health and immune system function capable of fending off the seasonal flu, it’s important that your blood level of D3 is at least 50 ng/ml. You can verify this through a 25 Hydroxy D blood test, which most physicians now include automatically with routine bloodwork, although you can always request it on an as-needed basis.
So how do you make sure that your Vitamin D3 blood level is optimal? Well, chances are, if you live in the United States, you must supplement in the fall, winter and spring seasons to maintain sufficient levels. The Vitamin D Council recommends supplementing with 1000 iu’s of D3 per 25 lbs of body weight per day. Children 1 year of age and younger should supplement with 1000 iu’s per day. After doing this for a couple of months, have your D3 blood levels checked to be certain that your 25(OH)D level is maintained between 50-70 ng/ml (and higher still if you are in a diseased state.)
Please check out www.vitamindcouncil.org for more information on all of the benefits of Vitamin D3.
** Keep in mind the importance of a healthy diet, exercise and stress management for overall health and optimal immune function in addition to the addition of Vitamin D3 to your regimen!
Latest posts by Susan Hughes (see all)
- How to Treat Hormonal Acne - October 25, 2017
- Our positive stories support healing. - August 24, 2017
- The sunshine vitamin: the many functions of Vitamin D - August 22, 2017