Wow! – AND its cheap, simple, and safe to take Vitamin D supplements at 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) per day! Now there’s a treatment! Increased infection fighting peptides, reduced inflammation, and stronger bones too! Too good to be true.
It is clear from scientific studies that the rate of infection with influenza is correlated with the level of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is a precursor to natural steroids in the body that reduces inflammation and thereby help fight complications of infections that cause excess inflammation like influenza. Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce the rate of infection with influenza after exposure for unknown reasons as explained below. Vitamin D is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is clear that the recommended levels of Vitamin D in our diets are too low, especially in view of recommendations in recent years to avoid sun exposure.
In a hospital for the criminally insane in 2005 it was noted that patients on a ward receiving a supplement of 2,000 international units of Vitamin D per day didn’t get sick when an influenza epidemic went through the hospital. It is also known that influenza rates decrease in the summer. A higher level of Vitamin D in the population from seasonal sun exposure may explain this.
The proper amount of Vitamin D required daily is up to 5,000 IU a day. It would be prudent for anyone, especially with limited sun exposure to take supplemental Vitamin D of 1,000-2,000 IU year round. This may help protect the population as a whole from influenza.