If you have repeatedly fallen for this annual propaganda campaign, you may be surprised to find the medical literature indicates that vitamin D may actually be a more successful, and the evidence for this goes back at least a decade.
Dr. John Cannell, founder of the vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency could actually be the underlying cause of influenza.
His hypothesis was first published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006. 2] Subsequently, another research was followed up, published in the Virology Journal in 2008. 3] The following year, the largest nationally representative study of its kind to date found that people with the lowest vitamin D levels indeed reported having significantly more colds or cases of the flu.
In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde said: “The results of our research support the important role of vitamin D in the prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and flu. Individuals with serious lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections due to vitamin D deficiency. “vitamin D Works Better Than Flu Vaccine If Your Levels Are Low Since then, a number of studies have come to similar conclusions. More recently, a systematic review[5,6] of 25 randomized controlled trials has reported that vitamin D supplementation enhances immunity and decreases cold and flu levels.
Overall, the research involved nearly 11,000 individuals from more than a dozen nations. As reported by Time Magazine:[ 7].”.. people who take daily or weekly vitamin D supplements were less likely to report acute respiratory infections, such as influenza or common cold, than those who did not… In people with the most severe vitamin D deficiency (blood levels below 10[ ng / mL]), taking a supplement reduced their risk of respiratory infection by half.
People with higher vitamin D levels also saw a small reduction in risk: about 10%, which is about equal to the protective effect of the inject able flu vaccine, the researchers say. “Like Cannell before them, the researchers believe that vitamin D offers protection by increasing antimicrobial peptides in your lungs, and that “this may be one reason why colds and flu are most common in winning. Lonely. 9] The “number needed to treat” (NNT) is another figure that indicates that vitamin D is a more effective strategy than the flu vaccine.
Overall, one person would be spared from influenza for every 33 people taking a vitamin D supplement (NNT= 33), whereas 40 people would have to undergo a flu vaccine to avoid one case of influenza (NNT= 40).
Among those with extreme baseline vitamin D deficiency, NNT was 4. In other words, if you continue with vitamin D deficiency, supplementation with vitamin D is 10 times more effective than the flu vaccine.
Maximizing vitamin D may be your best defense against influenza In my opinion, maximizing your vitamin D level is one of the best flu-prevention and overall health strategies available. Your diet also plays an important role, of course, as it lays the foundation for good immune function.
A high-sugar diet is a sure-fire way to reduce the body’s natural ability to fight off all sorts of pathogens by dramatically weakening the functioning of your immune system.
Nonetheless, I do not believe that fortifying more processed foods with vitamin D is the best solution, although I recognize that it could potentially have a more widespread impact among people who remain unaware of the beneficial health effects of sunlight in general.
I assume that easy exposure to the sun is the ideal way to maximize your vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement is recommended only in situations where you literally can not receive sufficient amounts of safe exposure to sunlight.
It is also important to note that, contrary to what is stated by most mainstream media, including the NPR article above, most people can not improve their vitamin D levels by consuming the recommended 600 IU of vitamin D from fortified foods. The dosage you really need depends on your current level of vitamin D in your body.
If it is very low, you may need 8,000 to 10,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day to reach and maintain a clinically relevant level of 45 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng / mL). The only way to know how much you need is to get tested at least once or twice a year.
If you have been supplementing for some time and your rates are still below 45 ng / mL, then you know that you need to increase your dose further. When using oral supplements, do make sure to improve your vitamin K2 and magnesium intake as these nutrients help to increase your vitamin D levels.
Other Studies Supporting Link Between vitamin D Deficiency and Influenza In a 2010 study,  researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 430 children, half of whom received 1,200 IUs of vitamin D3 per day, while the other half received placebo.
Overall, 42% of children in the treatment group were less likely to develop influenza. According to the writers, “This study suggests that supplementation with vitamin D3 during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in different subgroups of schoolchildren.” Another study  published that same year concluded that T-cell infection control needs the help of vitamin D in order to activate it. This is yet another factor that helps explain why vitamin D is so powerful against infection.
When a T cell detects foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, it sends signaling signals to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene.
The VDR gene then starts to generate a protein that binds vitamin D to the T cell. The downstream result of this is the development of PLC-gamma1 protein, which then allows the T cell to fight the infection. At the time, lead researcher Carsten Geisler said to Food Consumer:[ 12] “When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or an antenna known as a vitamin D receptor for vitamin D. It means that the T cell must have vitamin D or that the cell activation will stop. If the T cells can’t find enough vitamin D in their blood, they won’t even begin to activate. “With that understanding, it’s no wonder the flu shots don’t work. Flu vaccines do nothing to address the underlying issue of vitamin D deficiency, which ultimately hinders the proper functioning of your immune system.
In fact, flu vaccines tend to deteriorate your immune function, and their side effects may be significant.
Gold Standard ‘ Research Ignored by Mainstream Media The Gold Standard in Scientific Analysis, the so-called Cochrane Database Review, has released multiple studies between 2006 and 2012, all of which decimate the argument that flu vaccination is the most effective prevention method available. In 2010, Cochrane released the following bomb-shell finding, which was completely ignored by mass media:’ Influenza vaccines have a small effect on the reduction of symptoms of influenza and the loss of working days. There is no indication that infections such as pneumonia or transmission are affected. WARNING: This study covers 15 of the 36 industry-funded trials (four had no funding declaration).
An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 showed that industry-funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other research independently of methodological quality and size. Public-funded studies were significantly less likely to draw findings favorable to vaccinations… “Therefore, despite the fact that 15 of the 36 experiments included were skewed in the interests of industry, there was still no evidence to support the traditional argument that flu vaccines are the best and most effective anti-influenza prevention available!
Scientific reviews Suggest Vaccinating Children and Elderly Is Ineffective Cochrane has published a number of studies on the effectiveness of influenza vaccines in babies and elderly people— two categories that appear to be the most targeted in the ads of influenza vaccines— and all of them have had negative results. For kids: 1. A large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006 found no evidence that the flu vaccine was no more effective than placebo in children under two years of age. The trials included 260,000 children aged 6 to 23 months.
- In 2008, another Cochrane review again concluded that “little evidence is available” that the vaccine is effective for children under the age of two. More troubling, the authors said: “It was surprising to find only one review of the inactivated vaccine in children under two years of age, given current guidelines for the vaccination of healthy children under six months in the USA and Canada. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, there is an immediate need for large-scale trials evaluating critical outcomes and specifically comparing vaccine types. “3. In a 2012 review, Cochrane found that’ in children aged two years and older, nasal spray vaccines made from weakened influenza viruses is better suited to the prevention of influenza-related illness than the injection of vaccines produced from the killed virus. Neither type was wonderful at preventing “flu-like illness” caused by other viruses. For children under the age of two, the effectiveness of the inactivated vaccine was close to that of placebo. “The evidence available for the defense of the elderly is similarly abysmal.
- In 2010, Cochrane concluded that:[ 17] “The evidence available is of poor quality and does not provide guidance on the health, effectiveness or efficacy of influenza vaccines for people 65 years of age or older.” 5. Cochrane also investigated whether immunizing health care workers would help protect elderly patients with whom they work. In conclusion, the authors stated that:[ 18]”[ T]here is no evidence that vaccination of health care workers prevents influenza in elderly residents in long-term care facilities.” Annual Flu Vaccinations May Raise Risk of More Serious Infections Other recent studies have shown that, with each successive annual flu vaccination, the protection afforded by the vaccine appears to be reduced. 19, 20] Research published in 2014 found that vaccine-induced influenza safety was the best among those who had NOT received a flu shot in the previous five years. 21] Influenza vaccines may also increase your risk of developing other, more severe influenza infections.
Evidence shows that people who received the 2008 seasonal influenza vaccine have double the chance of developing the H1N1 “swine flu” relative to those who did not receive the flu shot. 22] Compared to children who do not receive an annual flu vaccine, those who receive influenza vaccination have a three-fold higher risk of influenza-related hospitalization. 23] Research also shows that statin drugs — taken by 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 45—may weaken the ability of your immune system to respond to the flu vaccine. 24,25,26] When you find the poor efficacy rate of the flu vaccine in any given year, getting vaccinated if you are on a statin may well be a moot point.
Independent science reviews also concluded that the influenza vaccine does not appear to prevent influenza-like illness associated with other types of viruses that account for approximately 80 per cent of all respiratory or gastrointestinal infections during any given flu season. 27,28,29,30] In addition to vitamin D, there are a variety of other foods and supplements that may be useful for colds and influenza, including: Garlic:  Garlic has natural antiviral, antibiotic and anti-fungal activity and has long been praised for its immune boosting effects.
The Cochrane Library, which has consistently shown that the evidence in support of the flu vaccine is at best poor, has also reviewed studies on alternatives, including garlic. 32] Sadly, such work is more difficult to carry out, as there is no financial incentive to do so.
Nonetheless, in the particular study reported by the Cochrane group, those who took garlic every day for three months had fewer colds than those who took placebo, and when they had a cold, the length of the illness was shorter— average 4.5 days compared to 5.5 days for the placebo group.
While this may not seem fantastic, it is still better than the effects of the flu drug Tamiflu!
Zinc: A Cochrane Library Analysis of Zinc Medical Research found that when administered within one day of the first signs, zinc will reduce the time you have a cold by about 24 hours.
Zinc has also been shown to greatly reduce the severity of symptoms. Zinc was not recommended for anyone with an underlying health problem, such as decreased immune function, asthma or chronic illness.
I do not recommend taking more than 50 mg daily, and I do not recommend taking zinc on a daily basis for preventive purposes, as you could easily establish a copper deficiency that way.
Vitamin C: a very potent antioxidant; use a natural form, such as Antilles Cherry, containing related micro nutrients.
You should take a few grams per hour (use the lysosomal form so you don’t get loose stools) until you get stronger. I never fly without a bottle of our C lysosomal.
Tea made from a blend of elder flower, yarrow, bone marrow, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often battle cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which helps to eradicate a virus from your system.
Oregano Oil: The higher the concentration of carvacrol, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oils.
Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi and turkey legs.
Propolis: bee resin and one of the broadest-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world. Propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that strengthen the immune response.
Olive leaf extract is widely known as a natural, non-toxic builder of the immune system.
Vitamin D Is Vital for Optimal Health and Disease Prevention Year-round Studies are also focusing on how vitamin D can help protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, autoimmune disease and many other chronic diseases. The video above (ER: see here) addresses research showing vitamin D extending the lifespan of nematode worms by 30% and helping to delay or even reverse the production of beta amyloid protein that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. As noted in the recent issue of Orthomolecular Medicine News,[ 34] “Work on the health benefits of vitamin D continues at a rapid pace. There were 4,356 papers published in 2015 with vitamin D in the title or abstract and 4,388 in 2016… “Some of the most important studies show: • Health benefits from sun exposure not linked to the production of vitamin D. A recent review found that the benefits of sun exposure include reduced rates of cancer, heart disease, dementia, myopia, macular degeneration, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. My opinion is that most of these advantages are attributed to near-, mid-and far-infrared wavelengths.
According to the author: “The message of sun-avoidance must be changed to the tolerance of non-burning sun exposure sufficient to achieve[vitamin D] concentrations of 30 ng / mL or higher… and the general benefits of UV exposure beyond those of vitamin D.” Also, while intermittent sun exposure is associated with higher levels of skin cancer, “the risk of these cancers is dwarfed by the reduced risk of o.
• Benefits of higher levels of vitamin D during pregnancy. Research shows that preterm births are steadily declining as vitamin D levels increase among pregnant women. For one study, the rise for vitamin D blood concentrations from 20 to 40 ng / mL decreased preterm births by 59%.
• Reduction of the risk of cancer due to vitamin D supplementation. One pooled analysis showed that women with higher vitamin D rates had a much lower incidence of cancer— from 2 percent per year of cancer incidence at 18 ng / mL to 0.4 percent at 63 ng / mL.
Overall, maintaining a serum vitamin D level of 45 to 60 ng / mL throughout the year may be one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself from chronic diseases and acute infections. When it comes to common colds and influenza, the amount of protection you get from vitamin D is actually higher than what you would get from flu vaccination, and you don’t have to think about potential side effects either — which may be far worse than the original complaint in the case of the flu vaccine.
Although death and total disability from a flu vaccine may be rare, the flu itself is dying. I strongly recommend that the risk of suffering a debilitating side effect of the flu vaccine be weighed against the more likely potential of spending a week in bed with the flu. Note, the majority of influenza-associated deaths are actually due to bacterial pneumonia, and these days bacterial pneumonia can be effectively treated with advanced medical treatment and treatments such as respiratory and par enteral antibiotics.
The role of vitamin D in disease prevention The growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in preventing and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and almost 3,000 of them are affected by vitamin D, as well as vitamin D receptors in your body.
According to one large-scale analysis, optimum levels of vitamin D can reduce your risk of cancer by as much as 60 per cent. Holding the rates optimized will help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancer.
- 1 Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D by JJ Cannell, September 15, 2006
- 2 Epidemiology and Infection 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40
- 3 Virology Journal 2008, 5:29
- 4 Archives of Internal Medicine 2009;169(4):384-390
- 5 BMJ 2017; 356:i6583
- 6 NPR February 16, 2017
- 7, 8 Time February 16, 2017
- 9 BBC.com February 16, 2017
- 10 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition May 2010; 91(5): 1255-1260
- 11 Nature Immunology 2010 Apr;11(4):344-9
- 12 Food Consumer July 3, 2010
- 13 Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2010 Jul 7;(7):CD001269
- 14, 15 Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2006 Jan 25;(1):CD004879
- 16 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012; Issue 8
- 17, 18 Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2010 Feb 17;(2):CD004876
- 19 Vaccine December 1998;16(20):1929-32
- 20 STAT News November 11, 2015
- 21 Clinical Infectious Diseases 2014; 59 (10): 1375-1385
- 22 CIDRAP April 6, 2010
- 23 Science Daily May 20, 2009
- 24 STAT News October 29, 2015
- 25 STAT News September 28, 2016
- 26 Journal of Infectious Disease October 28, 2015
- 27 FDA. 94th Meeting of Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Transcript. Feb. 20, 2003
- 28 CDC Seasonal Influenza Q&A. Aug. 15, 2014
- 29 CDC 2014-2015 Influenza Season Week 51 Ending December 20, 2014
- 30 JAMA Internal Medicine 2013; 173(11): 1014-1016
- 31 PreventDisease.com January 20, 2013
- 32 Cochrane , Garlic for the Common Cold, November 11, 2014
- 33 ABC7 News February 10, 2017
- 34 Orthomolecular Medicine News February 13, 2017