Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin D’

More Info On Staying Healthy This Winter

January 9, 2013

Here’s some good advice about which foods to eat more of to help prevent colds and flu.

Prone to respiratory infections? Check out this Swedish study on Vit D.

Here’s the summary from a great, fairly detailed scientific article on boosting immunity and immune response:

To read the entire article, go HERE.

Summary

Basic nutrition can make a profound difference in fighting the flu. Generally improved nutrition in our country would reduce the spread and severity of any seasonal flu, reduce the severity of flu symptoms, and reduce the overall number of flu cases.

Whether or not you get a flu vaccine is your choice (I’m no fan, as outlined in my article, The Narrow Scope of Flu Vaccine Usefulness). Regardless of whether you do or don’t get a flu vaccine, nutrition is profoundly beneficial to help your immune system perform in a time of need.

An idea as simple as making immune cells is of extreme importance and requires protein, iron, folic acid, and B12.

Dendritic cells are vital players in the response to any flu challenge and especially when the type of flu coming around has not been seen before. Dendritic cells must function under very high stress, and so need the ability to tolerate excessive antigen presentation and inflammation.

The key nutrients that allow this are vitamin D and vitamin A; lactoferrin can also be used. Quercetin works synergistically in this picture to reduce inflammation involving front line troops. Many other nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties that would lend support to better balance within this vital system.

Improving the efficient function of immune cells is vital. Zinc and vitamin C head the list, and are supported by the entire antioxidant network (NAC, vitamin E, etc).

Managing stress, improving digestion, reducing any inflammatory health problem (not with immune suppressing or toxic drugs), and losing weight healthfully are all extremely beneficial toward creating the likelihood for a healthier immune response in a time of need.

 

Increasing Our Immunity, Stabilizing Mood As Winter Approaches

November 8, 2011

Autumn is in full swing and winter is around the corner. With these changes, vitamin D levels among the population on the North American continent north of the Mexico border drop. The fact is above the 45th parallel it is reported that from November to February/March, even on a sunny blue-sky day, the angle of the sun is such that vitamin D production when bare skin is exposed is dramatically diminished.

Many of us experience shifts in mood during the winter months. To offset winter mood imbalances, alternative health practitioners recommend that folks have their vitamin D 25 OH levels measured. The range is 20-100 for most laboratories. Yet, falling within the range does not necessarily mean you are good to go. For many, a target  blood level of at least 55, for a 25 OH vitamin D blood test is considered beneficial. Of course the target blood range is different for everyone, and one’s health care provider can best determine what the best range is for a given individual. Also, it’s very important to take the blood test now through December, as Vitamin D declines in fall and winter if one isn’t taking any supplemental D.

From GreenMedInfo comes this great compilation of natural substances to take to increase immunity, or to hit a cold or the flu at the first signs:

While there are a broad spectrum of natural substanceswhich have been studied for their anti-influenza properties, vitamin D deserves special consideration due to the fact that it is indispensable to produce antiviral peptides (e.g. cathelicidin) within the immune system, and can be supported for pennies a day.

A study  published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, revealed that children receiving 1200 IUs of vitamin D a day were at 59% reduced risk for contracting seasonal Influenza A infection. Moreover as a secondary outcome, only 2 children in the treatment group versus 12 for the control group, experienced an asthma attack.

There are actually a broad range of preventive strategies that are evidence-based, and available without prescription.

    1)   Echinacea Tea: J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Aug;6(4):327-34
    2)   Elderberry:  J Altern Complement Med. 1995 Winter;1(4):361-9.
    3) American Ginseng:  J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Mar;12(2):153-7.
    4) Green Tea: J Nutr. 2011 Oct ;141(10):1862-70. Epub   2011 Aug 10.
    5) Probiotics: Pediatrics. 2009 Aug;124(2):e172-9.
    6) Vitamin D: PLoS One. 2010;5(6):e11088. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

And be sure to take Vitamin D3, which is the natural, assimilable form. Vitamin D2 is synthetic, and does not work as well.