Yes, it may be true that you don't have to be sick again, at least not flat on your back with a fever and puking your brains out. You can likely prevent this suffering by normalizing the level of Vitamin D in your blood.
Conservatively, half the population is deficient in Vitamin D and by some reports as many as 87% of us are deficient, so if you are not going in the sun, or if you are using sunblock, or not supplementing with D3, you are likely in this group! Since our skin makes D only in the summer months, we are lowest in winter months, making us more susceptible to flus and colds. This is why experts are saying "Seasonal" Flu might be a misnomer. Since viruses circulate throughout the entire year, the seasonality is likely mainly due to our D status.
Many studies support D's role in preventing influenza. The largest and most recent - the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey - found that among 19,000 subjects, the higher the level of D, the less illness (upper respiratory infection, URI):
Anecdotally, among doctors who have begun to treat their patients with Vitamin D, they have seen dramatically fewer cases of influenza-like illness in their practices.
Vitamin D also protects us from the two main ways influenza can kill us - cytokine storms and secondary bacterial infections.
- Cytokine Storm: "Vitamin D also suppresses inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are partly responsible for the pain, fever, and congestion that comes with influenza infection; full-blown cytokine storms are to blame in some fatal cases of influenza," according to this must-read flu article in Life Extension magazine.
- Secondary Bacterial Infections: D is protective against bacterial illness, including one of the nastiest bacterial lung infections - tuberculosis: "Increased production of [D3] results in synthesis of cathelicidin, a peptide capable of destroying M. tuberculosis as well as other infectious agents," wrote Dr. Holick in his Vitamin D Deficiency review article in The New England Journal of Medicine. Other articles also support the bacterial-protective effects of D.
Stock your home's pharmacy with several fresh bottles of 50,000 IU capsules of Vitamin D3 (a medicine at this dosage, not a supplement) and if you get this flu, take 2,000 IU per kg of body weight per day for a week. As I weigh 220 pounds, I would take 200,000 IU per day for seven days if I thought I had an infection with a 1918-like influenza virus.How to prevent flu with D: Your skin makes Vitamin D from direct sun exposure when you are taller than your shadow. Step outside and look! You'll notice that in the winter or outside of mid-day, your shadow is always taller than you are, which means you are not making D. See the Vitamin D Council for information on how to monitor blood levels of Vitamin D and treat. Per the experts, most adults should be taking 2,000 - 5,000IU of D3 per day. Always do this in consultation with your doctor, ideally testing your blood at the beginning and end of daylight savings season. for
OK, now for a little quiz. In addition to the $4.8 million PR campaign in 2009 for the H1N1 flu shot, how much did the CDC - full name being Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - spent educating the public that Vitamin D is a safer and more effective way to prevent H1N1 influenza infection?
$0. That's right. Nothing. I asked CDC officials about this when I met with them in Sacramento in August. I got a shoulder-shrug in answer to my question about Vitamin D being the ultimate protection against viruses.