How Vitamin D Prevents Influenza
April 1, 2014 by Bob Livingston
Although your allopathic physician will not likely tell you this (preferring instead to vaccinate you with an ineffective cocktail of harmful agents), the best way to prevent the flu or to shorten its duration is to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.
In his blog on VitaminDCouncil.org, Dr. John J. Cannell explains how it works.
Vitamin D is an important part of the immune system. Some studies have shown that there is a link between vitamin D levels and the risk of getting influenza. People who have low vitamin D levels may have a higher chance of getting influenza.
Vitamin D receptors are found on the surface of a cell, where they receive chemical signals. By attaching themselves to a receptor, these chemical signals direct a cell to do something: for example, to act in a certain way or to divide or die.
There are vitamin D receptors found on cells in the immune system, and vitamin D can bind to these receptors. Vitamin D works in the immune system by reducing levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines, as well as increasing amounts of antimicrobial proteins, which destroy invading germs and viruses. This combination of lowering inflammation and increasing antimicrobial defenses can help your immune system fight infections better.
Research has shown that:
- People who get the flu are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D.
- The flu is more prevalent in winter months when vitamin D levels are naturally low.
- Taking vitamin D can lessen your chances of getting the flu.
- High vitamin D levels can speed up the recovery process.
In addition to helping to stave off the flu, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels protects against heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and seasonal affective disorder. And it also slows down aging.