Doctors in Japan claim that thanks to the vitamin D, the risk of children suffering from flu can be reduced by 50%. This finding is based on the fact that vitamin D can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccines according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The conducted study showed that only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five to whom were given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor, states that the vitamin D was more effective than vaccines given in preventing the flu.
The same suggestion about the vitamin D was given by Dr. Damien Downing, a doctor, and a medical consultant. He has been advising patients to increase their vitamin D intake rather than get the vaccine.
It is interesting to know that the physicians in the United States and Canada prescribe as much as 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily in order to treat a long list of chronic diseases.
Also, Dr. John Cannell, MD, practices to prescribe high-dose vitamin D (50,000 IU) for three days at the first sign of a cold or the flu. In case of infection, the amount of vitamin D should be even higher. It is important to know that vitamin D acts as a natural antibiotic and works against every type of microbe (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites).
Vitamin D also protects the lungs from infection as it has the ability to stimulate the production of potent anti-microbial peptides in white blood cells and in epithelial cells.
Because, during the winter people are deficient in natural Vitamin D (taken from the sun), especially in countries far north, the immune system is weakened too.
50 Percent Reduction In Flu Infections Using Vitamin D
In the trial conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan has included altogether 354 children. In this trial, vitamin D was found to protect against influenza A but not against the less common influenza B.
The children received the daily dose of 1200 IUs of vitamin D over a period of three months. During the first month, both groups of children (taking the vitamin and the dummy tablet) became ill equally. However, during the second month, when thanks to the increase of the vitamin level in the children’s blood, its effects were clearer.
The Japanese scientists concluded that the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir reduce the risk of flu infection by 8 percent in children, while vitamin D by 50 percent.
The Japanese finding explains why flu epidemics generally peak between December and March.
The experts claim that anti-virals and vaccines used for influenza virus are less effective than vitamin D.
Another disadvantage of anti-virals is that they are too expensive, and possibly too toxic, to be given to the population. Additionally, the sunshine vitamin prevents bone fractures, reduces risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other illness (e.g. bacterial and viral infections).
Vitamin D activates the immune system, enabling the body to produce several proteins (defensins and cathelicidin), which trigger cell activity and disable viruses.
This theory of the effectiveness of the vitamin D against flu is supported, also by Dr. John Oxford, professor of virology at Queen Mary School of Medicine, London.
Dose and Vitamin D Levels Are Critical
Researchers have located the mechanism of the D3’s ability to enhance the immune system. Instead of calling it a vitamin, they call it a steroid hormone precursor, which has profound effects on innate immunity.
This vitamin cannot be taken through the food because its amount there is literally inconsequential.
The daily dose of vitamin D for adults is approximately 5,000 IU/day. This dose is different from the dose recommended by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Medicine and the FDA (200 to 600 IU).
Vitamin D acts in case of infection, by the dramatic increase of the body’s production of broad-spectrum natural antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides – AMP).
Taking a dose of vitamin D (1,000 IU per pound of body weight per day) for several days will effectively treat, influenza, common cold, but also helps to treat a host of other seasonal infections, including septicemia, meningitis, and pneumonia, in both children and adults.