Vitamin D Information

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As we move into another flu season the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is strongly urging Americans to get flu shots.

There are a number of reasons to consider not getting a flu shot.

A recent study published in the October issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu had no impact on flu-related hospitalizations or doctor visits during two recent flu seasons. The researchers concluded that "significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age or setting examined."

Additionally a group health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia -- the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Flu shots among the elderly increased from 15% in 1980 to 65% now, but there is no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia.

There is some evidence that flu shots contribute to Alzheimers, most likely from combining mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde which are in flu shots. Mercury in vaccines is a possible contributor or cause of autism for the same reasons. There is up to 25 micrograms of mercury in a flu shot, making them unsafe for anyone under 550 pounds.

Increased marketing of flu shots by the CDC and most physicians ignores the fact that a systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 23 months to 6 years found flu vaccine to be no more effective than a placebo.

There is increasing evidence that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency. It occurs as our vitamin D levels plunge as we go into winter. Vitamin D releases our own antibiotics known as antimicrobial peptides. A person with low vitamin D levels is more vulnerable to colds, influenza and other respiratory infections.

Vitamin D and Children
Dosing -- according to Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council breast fed infants should receive l,000 IU's daily, bottle-fed infants 600 IU's as a starting point. For older children and adults, 1,000 IU's per 25 lbs of body weight each day appears to be a maintenance dose. Individual requirements vary widely, so blood testing for Vitamin D levels is helpful in appropriate dosing. Many doctors have not yet been informed of proper blood levels, usually measured in nanograms per milliliter of blood, or ng/ml. The conventional notion is that anything under 30 ng/ml is a deficiency and anything over that is sufficiency. However, as Dr. Cannell points out, we do not begin to receive cancer protection from vitamin D until 50 ng/ml and 70 to 90 ng/ml is an optimal level. Toxicity has not been observed at levels under 200 ng/ml.

Japanese researchers have noted that the "soft spot" on the top of the heads of newborns, called craniotabes is not normal, it is a sign of D deficiency in the mother passed on to the newborn.

Cavities in children are not signs of poor dental care, but of excess sugar and deficient Vitamin D.

Studies in the 1930's showed that doses of vitamin D between 5,000 IU to 14,000 IU were very helpful in teenagers resolving acne problems.

Childhood asthma and autism are likely vitamin D deficiencies, at least in part.

Short term dosing of vitamin D at onset of respiratory infections can be very helpful. At first sign of exposure, take 2,000 IU's of vitamin D per kg of body weight for 3 days. For a 70 kg or 150 pound person this is 140,000 IU's of vitamin D for 3 days. For a 10 pound infant this dosage is 9,000 to 10,000 IU's daily for 3 days.

While this level of dosing seems high, that same 10 pound infant running around naked for 20-30 minutes in mid day sun in midsummer would likely make 10,000 to 20,000 IU's in their skin.

It is an exciting time as we learn more about the "sunshine vitamin" and its many uses in our bodies. It is the only vitamin we know of that reduces risk of death from all causes. It is likely that in the next 5 years there will be other important discoveries about vitamin D, and, as a heads up another fat soluble vitamin we're learning more about, Vitamins K1 and K2.