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Vitamin D vs. Flu Shots

Alliance for Natural Health & Queen Mary University,


New research shows vitamin D helps prevent infection. Will the crony medical establishment listen? We at ANH-USA have been beating the drum about vitamin D and its well-documented anti-viral capabilities for years, and there is new evidence demonstrating vitamin D’s role in preventing respiratory infections. When faced with the choice of a cheap, safe, and effective natural immune defense against the flu, or an expensive, dangerous, and ineffective vaccine that makes drug companies billions of dollars—which will our crony health officials choose? The Queen Mary University of London study, which pooled data from 25 studies that included more than 10,000 participants, found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of respiratory infections (cold and flu) by 10 percent overall—and there are reasons to think this figure greatly understates the degree of protection. The protective effect of the sunshine vitamin was even more dramatic in those who were deficient. For the deficient, which about 40% of Americans are, the risk of infection was reduced by half with vitamin D supplementation. This builds upon earlier findings from a 2010 Japanese study which found that vitamin D supplementation was as effective as the vaccine at preventing colds and flu. Predictably, the media tries to diminish these findings, stating that “not everyone is convinced that this study should lead us to the supplement aisle.” We’re then told that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has determined that adults need only 600 IU of vitamin D—an amount that most Americans do not get from sun exposure or their diet alone. The IOM also said that a vitamin D blood level of 20 ng/mL was adequate This is nonsense. The Vitamin D Council, for example, recommends 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day to achieve at least 40 ng/mL; other integrative doctors we respect advise that the D serum level needs to be around 70 in order to avoid viral infection. Other calculations have shown that IOM recommendations are only about one-tenth of what is needed to cut the incidence of diseases related to vitamin D deficiency. What this means is that most Americans are not getting the vitamin D they need, in part because health authorities at the IOM and elsewhere in the government are mistaken when telling Americans how much to take. That we do not get enough vitamin D in our diet or through sun exposure to meet a paltry 600 IU means that the number of Americans who are deficient must be staggering. It is a crime that health authorities are not telling people to take vitamin D supplements. The good news is that this study shows that those who are deficient in vitamin D—likely most Americans, given how wrong the IOM is about how much vitamin D we really need—can reduce their risk of cold or flu by 50 percent. That is more effective than the flu vaccine usually is.