Monday, December 12, 2011

Flu Season

So it is that time of year again - The Holidays and Flu Season!

I found an excellent read on how to avoid getting the flu. Check it out. I'm ready to try it for my kids ASAP. Especially since right now one has an ear infection and a sinus infection and the other has an ear infection too. ARGH!

Say "Goodbye" To The Flu Season Forever
Every year when Winter rolls around, you've probably noticed the glut of commercials for cold and flu medicines that promise to put an end to the coughing, sneezing, headaches, stuffiness and more that comes with being sick.
Most of us just chalk it up to being "that" time of year.
But the truth is, there's a very good reason why Winter coincides with greater chances of being sick with the flu or a similar illness.
As it turns out, a vitamin D deficiency is the culprit.
And when you stop and think about it, it makes total sense.
As Winter progresses, the daylight hours become shorter and shorter. Combine that with the fact that most people try and stay indoors to keep warm, and you've got the perfect recipe for a vitamin D deficiency.
That's because your body makes the vitamin D it needs with the sunlight that hits your skin when you're outside.
A study published in the journal Epidiemology and Infection found that there is a direct correlation between the lack of vitamin D most people experience during winter and coming down with a cold. [1]
The researchers stated, "We conclude that vitamin D, or lack of it... [is the] seasonal stimulus [for illness]."
Another study, published in the 2009 edition of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine discovered that a vitamin D deficiency is responsible for many upper-respiratory tract infections. [2]
And that's just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to research linking vitamin D deficiency to getting sick.
For example, one Dutch study found that children with the least sun exposure were twice as likely to develop a cough and three times as likely to develop a runny nose, compared to children who got plenty of sun. [3]
Another Russian study stimulated vitamin D production in athletes. They did this with sun lamps that gave off UV rays.
The result?
The athletes experienced 50% LESS respiratory infections and had less days missed due to illness. [4]
And while I don't have to space here to tell you about ALL the neat vitamin D studies I've found, I'll leave you with one more.
In 1994, a study published in the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, investigated the effects of high-dosage vitamin D supplementation on children.
The researchers gave 27 children (ages 3-12) 60.000 iu of vitamin D per week. They did this over the course of six weeks.
Also, you should know that these children all had a history of frequent respiratory infections.
By the time the study ended, NONE of the children developed respiratory infections. [5]
Dr. Rehman, the study's lead author, stated, "infections were fully controlled and no recurrences were reported for six months.”
That's simply amazing when you think about it!
So save your money this Winter. Instead of going out there and getting cold medicines, get some sun... well, that is if you're lucky enough to live in a warmer climate.
Otherwise, stock up on vitamin D!
The kind of vitamin D you want to take is important. Choose a supplement that contains vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
As far as how much, research indicates you may need as much as 5,000 - 8,000 iu to get the protective, immune-boosting effects.
1. Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, Garland CF, Giovannucci E."Epidemic influenza and vitamin D."Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40. Epub 2006 Sep 7.
2. Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA Jr."Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." Arch Intern Med. 2009 Feb 23;169(4):384-90.
3. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2004 Oct;20(5):270-1.
4. Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult. 1990 May-Jun;(3):30-3.
5. J Trop Pediatr. 1994 Feb;40(1):58.

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