Recent research reveals the positive effects of vitamin D in the prevention and alleviation of symptoms of common colds and flu.
Scientists are all more inclined to believe that the sunshine vitamin could be a substitute for influenza vaccines that are not only ineffective but also harmful. What’s also a benefit is that this vitamin is safe for health, and easily accessible to all.
Vitamin D Against Common Colds And Flu
Recent scientific research has found that vitamin D stimulates the formation of CD8 T cells. The very presence of a large number of these cells in the human body is associated with reduced or even complete absent flu symptoms. On the other hand, people with low levels of this vitamin are more likely to get the flu and colds.
A team of scientists investigating the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 found that people with an increased number of CD8 T cells had very mild symptoms of the flu, or they were completely absent. At the same time, the group with reduced amounts of the same cells had marked symptoms of influenza.
According to these studies, it seems that we can use vitamin D to prevent influenza and alleviate its symptoms, and that it is a very good natural substitute for vaccines.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a prohormone consisted of several compounds. Of these, the most important for the human organism are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).
The human body produces this vitamin under the influence of sunlight. As a matter of fact, sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin D for humans.
Except for the sun, we can add this vitamin to our body through some foods of animal origin and cereals. However, the amount we get through food is absolutely negligible in comparison to the amount our body receives by exposure to the sun’s rays.
For comparison, being exposed to the sun’s rays for 20 minutes gives you a dose of about 250 micrograms of vitamin D, while for the same dose it would take about 10 liters of milk.
Vitamin D Deficiency And Its Association With Other Diseases
In the past, vitamin D deficiency has been exclusively associated with rickets and osteoporosis. People have believed that this vitamin has no other significant negative effects on the body, and its positive effect on the human health has not been known.
However, recent scientific research shows that being deficient in the sunshine vitamin is not only a threat due to rickets and osteoporosis, but that may cause other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and even cancer.
Conversely, with a sufficient amount of vitamin D, the body can be more effectively defended against various diseases and anxiety.
Today, health experts increasingly use the sunshine vitamin in the treatment and prevention of cancer, and in the suppression of autoimmune diseases.
Studies have also shown that it can help regulate excessive weight and fight obesity.
What Can Lead To Deficiency?
- Insufficient and limited exposure to sunlight
- Staying indoors all day
- Strict vegan diet with a lack of sunshine
- Dark skin color (melanin reduces the ability of the skin to produce vitamin D)
- Increased degradation of the vitamin (for example, due to corticosteroid treatment)
- Reduced absorption of the vitamin (certain diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease or Crohn’s disease impair the ability of the digestive system to absorb vitamin D from food)
- Bone pain
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Extreme sweating
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic fatigue
How to Provide Vitamin D
Staying in the sun 2 to 3 times a week, for 20 minutes, is enough to provide you with the necessary amounts of this vitamin.
In winter, when the exposure to sunlight is low, it’s recommendable to take this vitamin in the form of dietary supplements.
Positive Effects Of Vitamin D
This vitamin plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of the following diseases:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Prevention and reducing the symptoms of common colds and flu
- Immune disorders
- Colon, prostate and breast cancer
- Muscular diseases
- Kidney disease
- Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Anxiety and depression
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Vitamin D and Influenza
Vitamin D regulates CD8 T cell expansion and immune memory to infections (IRM4P.502)