It is hard to imagine with the intense summer heat that fall and winter will soon be here, and along with it all those nasty winter germs. Although Krista was home-schooled, I always dreaded the start of each new school year because I knew it was only a matter of time before her siblings would be bringing home all sorts of respiratory bugs. In my quest to keep the entire family healthy, I became interested in reading and learning about Vitamin D3. It seems that this vitamin isn’t just a vitamin, but something much more important!
The best way to achieve adequate amounts of Vitamin D is from the suns UVB rays. Depending on a person’s complexion, 20 – 30 minutes a day in the intense summer sun, without sunscreen, and with ¾ of the skin exposed, can give people ample Vitamin D3. This is not usually practical for most of us, and with people spending more time indoors combined with excessive sunscreen use, this critical function of sun exposure has been interrupted. In recent years, health experts are discovering how detrimental this has been for people’s health.
Scientific evidence shows the reason influenza is more prevalent in the winter months is because that is when people have the lowest Vitamin D levels. This also explains why more northern locations have higher cases of influenza. The further we go from the equator, the higher the incidence of flu and respiratory illness. According to researchers, from October to April the skin makes little to no Vitamin D if you live north of the 37th parallel.
Although most of us are aware of Vitamin D’s importance for bone health, low levels of Vitamin D are also linked to many forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, nervous system disorders and immune dysfunction. I’m especially interested in how adequate Vitamin D helps us combat respiratory illness, including influenza.
Scientists at UCLA discovered that Vitamin D is actually a steroid precursor that creates over 200 antimicrobial peptides in our body. These act like natural broad-spectrum antibiotics and specifically help us fight off colds, respiratory infections, and flu. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in March 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that children taking 1200 IU of Vitamin D3 everyday were 42 percent less likely to be infected with seasonal flu.
If you want to have your Vitamin D level checked, the test that should be ordered is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, not the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D test. A good Vitamin D result will be 50-80ng/ml.
According to several researching physicians, the dosage for children under age 5 should be 35 IU/lb, children 5-10 should take 2500 IU/day, and adults should take 5000 IU/day.
I believe taking Vitamin D 3 has helped my family stay healthy and encourage all of you to learn how vital this nutrient is to staying well. Please read the links below for more information.