Vitamin D is a natural remedy for the prevention of the flu. By optimizing the amount of Vitamin D in our blood levels, we can help protect ourselves from the flu. There are many facts associated with vitamin D that can substantiate this claim.
The Effect of Vitamin D on Our Genes
Over the last few years, studies have proved that Vitamin D is a potent steroid that can directly affect genes in our body. In fact, the effect of Vitamin D on the genes is so powerful that its absence over a long period of time can result in not only rickets, but 17 different types of cancer, autoimmune diseases, heart diseases and high blood pressure.
The Effect of Vitamin D on Our Immune System
Research has shown that Vitamin D increases the body’s natural supply of amino acids called the “Antimicrobial Peptides” (AMP’s). These AMP’s strengthen our immune system to defend the body against microorganisms that cause the flu.
Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble substance that is vital for our health. However, very few foods contain Vitamin D and so Vitamin D supplements are often recommended.
In the 1930s, Vitamin D deficiency disease rickets became a major health problem in the United States. To counter the problem, fortified milk program was implemented. Today, 98% milk supply in the country contains approximately 400 International Units (IU) of Vitamin D per quart. Apart from milk, you can get concentrated forms of Vitamin D in yogurt, cheese, salmon, sardines, shrimp, cod and eggs.
Sunlight is an important and natural source of Vitamin D. The ultra violet rays of the sun triggers the production of Vitamin D in our body. In winter, especially, the lights from the home are not sufficient to produce Vitamin D. This to some extent accounts for the increase in cases of the flu during winter. However, over exposure to the sun can be harmful. The optimum exposure to the sun should be ten to fifteen minutes two times per week, without the use of sunscreen.
According to the US National Institutes of Health, D3 is more effective than any other form of the vitamin. However, as already pointed out, Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can accumulate in the body. The Institute of Medicine has recommended the ideal amount to be present in women, adult and children, so you must consult a doctor before taking Vitamin D supplements.