- For decades we've heard the myth that flu strikes in
winter because of the colder weather. But numerous studies have all debunked
that theory. Studies have shown that flu hits the tropics in their "winter"
when it's still quite warm (usually during the rainy season).
- No, there's another reason flu hits in winter. And it
gives you an easy way to stop the flu before it hits. And it doesn't involve
getting a flu shot.
- We already know that our bodies produce a lot less vitamin
D during the winter. But is it possible the reduced vitamin D levels in
winter contribute to the flu?
- The evidence is there. Years ago, an observant British
general practitioner, R. Edgar Hope-Simpson, connected influenza epidemics
in the northern hemisphere with winter solstice. So, flu hits right when
vitamin D levels begin to plummet. Conventional medicine has largely ignored
his work, until now.
- Just this year, two major medical journals released a
report written by Dr. John Cannell, a California psychiatrist at the Atascadero
State Hospital in California. This is a maximum security facility for the
criminally insane. In his report, Dr. Cannell noted that wards all around
his got hit hard with a severe flu-like outbreak in April 2005. None of
his 32 patients caught the flu - even after they mingled with infected
inmates from other wards.
- Dr. Cannell wondered why his ward avoided the flu when
it hit all the others. He soon realized it was the high doses of vitamin
D he prescribed to all the men on his ward. He had found that his patients,
like most other people in the industrial world, had a deficiency. (He must
be one of the very few psychiatrists that pays attention to nutrition!)
His efforts to correct the deficiency boosted their immune system and completely
protected them from the flu.
- Why does it work? Science recently discovered that vitamin
D stimulates your white blood cells to make a substance called cathelicidin.
Researchers haven't studied this chemical on the flu virus yet, but they
have previously reported that it attacks a wide variety of pathogens. These
include fungi, viruses, bacteria, and even tuberculosis.
- So, it turns out that my suggestions for you to have
your vitamin D levels checked this time of year were right on target. But
now, armed with this new information, I don't even think it's necessary
to spend the money on a test. Vitamin D is cheap. And it stimulates your
body to make what might be the ultimate antibiotic! One with no toxicity
at all and only kills those organisms invading you (not your own cells).
- Arm yourself with the incredible protection of vitamin
D. Get sunlight when you can. Just be sure not to burn. If you are mostly
indoors, I strongly suggest that you add vitamin D to your daily regimen.
I recommend 5,000 IU per day. I see no downside to this dose, especially
in the winter months!
- Yours for better health and medical freedom,
- Robert Jay Rowen, MD
- Ref: FASEB Journal July 2006; Epidemiology and Infection,
online, December 2006.
- Second Opinion Health Alerts are a complimentary
- e-mail service from the Second Opinion health
- newsletter written by Robert J. Rowen, MD.