Could Vitamin D be the best defense against colds, flu and other infections? Colds and flu abound in winter when Vitamin D levels are the lowest. I had the privilege of attending a lecture on one of the world’s experts on Vitamin D, Dr. Michael Holick and he confirmed a lot of what I have been reading and practicing regarding Vitamin D. Here are a few important facts:
• You cannot make Vitamin D in winter above a latitude of 35N (Alburquerque, NM, Charlotte, NC, Kyoto, Japan, Kirkuk, Iraq, Nicosia, Cyprus).
• It is very difficult to get toxic from Vitamin D even though it’s a fat -soluble vitamin. Toxicity occurs if your levels are above 150 ng/ml.
• The optimal range is 60-80 ng/ml, normal ranges are 35-100
• Vitamin D deficiency is rampant.
• 52% of healthy adults are deficient in Vitamin D at less than 20ng/ml.
• The percent of adults over age 50 that were vitamin D deficient 30% of whites, 42% of Hispanics and 84% of blacks.
• Recommended doses to treat deficiency is 6,000 IU per day for 8 weeks
• Recommended dose to maintain levels is 3,000 IU per day.
• The increase in colds and flu occur in winter may be due to low Vitamin D levels.
• Vitamin D is essential for your immune system to function (T cells and macrophages).
• Studies show that Vitamin D supplementation reduced the incidence of respiratory infections in adults to half and school children given 1200 IU of Vitamin D had almost half the rate of flu as those who did not take Vitamin D.
It is important to take a Vitamin D3 supplement, have adequate nutrition and have your levels measured by your doctor. Having a strong immune system is important to ward off infection and along with coughing and sneezing into your elbow and washing your hands to prevent spread, you can build immunity internally. Have a healthy New Year.