Influenza and Vitamin D

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by gapsych, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member is another section of the following article.


    Author Mark Crislip

    Influenza and Vitamin D

    Influenza can be prevented or treated with Vitamin D. Don’t tell that to Dr. Marshall. The Natural News, the source for all things over hyped and under understood (Ick. That parallel form didn’t work.), is a nice example of the hype of Vitamin D as a preventative an treatment of influenza.

    Vitamin D is an interesting molecule. Besides its long known effects on bone metabolism, Vitamin D has many immunomodulatory effects and is an important vitamin for immune function. Vitamin D even has effects on nitric oxide regulation. Its effects on infection risks are just beginning to be elucidated but deficiency states (note deficiency states) are associated with an increased risk of viral respiratory infections and worsening of pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Again, deficiency states. If you are replete in your Vitamin D, there is apparently no immunologic advantage in taking extra, as seems to be the case with all vitamins. Metaphorically, if the tank is full of gas, you can’t go further by pumping more gas into the tank.

    Vitamin D deficiency is not uncommon in the Northern Latitudes especially in the winter and in populations who have little sun exposure (nursing home patients). So like all deficiency states, it is reasonable to fill the tank, with extra Vitamin D. It will probably decrease the chance of getting a viral respiratory infection. In general, supporting data is limited and the effect small, as a review points out (2).

    How about Vitamin D specifically for influenza?

    There, the data is limited and mostly epidemiologic, but interesting none the less. The natural news, which states “In the realm of peer-reviewed medical literature, searching Google Scholar for “influenza” and “vitamin D” returns tens of thousands of results (…).”

    Interestingly, using influenza and dental floss for search terms on Google scholar results in over 1500 articles; it is hardly the source for the peer reviewed literature. If you use Pubmed, the source for peer reviewed literature, there are 30 references, not tens of thousands, and less than a half dozen specifically concerning vitamin D and influenza.

    The reasoning goes like this: flu increases in the winter. In the winter people get less sunshine and their vitamin d levels drop. Therefore it is the vitamin d deficiency in the winter that predisposes to influenza. Of course, people crowd together inside in the winter, increasing ease of transmission and flu occurs in the tropics where it is always sunny, so it is probably not the only reason flu increases in the winter. But it may well be a small component,

    It is biologically plausible that vitamin deficiency increases your risk for infection, there is reasonable epidemiologic data to support the association, and it is not unreasonable to be replete in you vitamins.

    What is neither reasonable nor supported is to take supratherapeutic amounts of vitamin D as a replacement for either the vaccine or, if you should get flu, oseltamivir.

    Vitamin D is not ” is perhaps the single most powerful nutrient in the known universe for preventing influenza, ” despite the Natural News hysterics. Yet another alternative mountain made from a scientific molehill.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/12/2009]
  2. JaneSmith

    JaneSmith New Member

    Been taken almost 2,000 IU's for the past 3 years. Not even a cold....
  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Well, hey, that absolutely proves it!! I have changed my errant ways!!

    If you are not deficient, more vitamin D will not help.
  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I live in Southern Arizona and it's full of sunshine, but I also have various forms of lupus so I can't stay in it. I take a Centrum vitamin each day.

    I get a seasonal flu shot every year and long before I became disabled and since the flu shots have never had flu. In the past I've had to work with co-workers who had flu (a boss mostly) but the flu shots gotten early apparently helped me.

    I also have IBS-D and other ailments, so maybe there should be many other considerations taken before a positive conclusion is drawn. Due to my lupus and other ailments, my doctor wants me to have a seasonal flu shot every year so those ailments do not automatically make you exempt from ever getting one.

    A discussion with your doctor can also help you determine what is best for you depending on what ailments you have.
  6. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    You make a good point.

    My doctor wants me to get both shots which I plan to do Oct. 1st when the flu clinic opens at my hospital. I am not sure if they will also offer the H1N1 vaccine or if it is okay to get both at the same time.

    Being a former teacher, I have always had a seasonal flu shot, not only for my sake but the sake of my students who sometimes had health conditions.

    My daughter who is six months pregnant and her hubby got the flu shot as well as my other daughter, her husband and my granddaughter who is almost 3. My grandson will not get one yet as he is under six months.

    It infuriates me when I see people out and about who are coughing, sneezing, blowing their noses to the point that they are obviously sick. I have had parents who have sent their kids to school sick as the child wanted to be in school or parents could not afford a baby sitter. For the latter, we would often have these children isolated where they could rest as it was difficult to send them home.

    In my first teaching job, our school was closed down by the Health Department as we had so many kids diagnosed with Strep.

    It is an individual decision. But people also need to be aware of the possibility of spreading the flu as you are contagious before you show symptoms.
  7. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    My doctor wants me to recontact him when his center gets in the swine flu shots as they will have a list of who will get the first batch that comes in and depending on how much they initially get, he wants to see if I will be on that list. He wants me to get the shot, but it will depend on how much they get in with each shipment.

    When I was still working, I actually had a female lawyer that was a partner and she brought in her Kindergarten child who had flu with fever with red cheeks and coughing, and she kept sending him out to my desk so she could get work done.

    I didn't get the flu, but how brassy can someone get than to be a boss and take their child with flu and fever, coughing, into work and expose him to co-workers. Make sure he doesn't go to school as the school would raise heck with her--but bring him to work so all the co-workers get exposed.

    His mother didn't care about the child's welfare and being sick and that this poor child needed to be home in bed (she didn't even bring in a make-shift bed that the boy could lay on to get comfortable in her office), and she certainly didn't care about the rest of us--but she had no one to take care of him so as one of the bosses she brought him in when she should have stayed home. She had no court appearances, so I could have easily messengered files to her to work on at home. If I as an employee had done the same thing, it would have been hell to pay. I didn't work long for that tiny firm because they had a poor "attitude" towards employees.

  8. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I also hate it when people go to work even if they are sick, like this is something to be commended.