Help Prevent Swine Flu With Vitamin D
by Scott Isaacs, ND, D.C.
muscles, fatigue, and headaches, so it will be difficult to tell the difference - and
perhaps beside the point. Also, just like the regular flu, swine flu is spread through
airborne droplets from coughing, or from direct contact with a person who has swine
It is important to know who is most likely to contract swine flu. Those at highest risk
- Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday (but the younger the child the
higher the risk).
- Pregnant women.
- People 50 years of age and older.
- People of any age with heart or lung disease (asthma, COPD, emphysema), or
- People with weakened immune systems.
Since the swine flu is a new strain of the flu that we have not been exposed to yet,
we have yet to develop immunity, and everyone is at risk of contracting the swine
flu. This is why people are so concerned about the swine flu this year.
There are many people who are leery of the swine flu vaccine for various reasons. It
is not my intention to persuade those who are ready to take the vaccine not to take
it. But there are other ways to prevent the swine flu using natural methods, and to
decrease its severity if it does hit. Simply doing nothing and passively relying on the
body's ability to heal itself is foolish. We need to actively support the body's ability to
fight off the swine flu.
First off, we can look at the common sense basics that apply pretty much to all
common upper respiratory tract diseases (common colds, influenza, etc.) These
- Decreasing your intake of sugars and other simple carbohydrates. These have
been proven to suppress the immune system by reducing the white blood cell
count for up to 24 hours.
- Drinking plenty of water...ideally, at least 1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight
per day. (150 lbs = 50 oz of water.)
- Getting plenty of sleep.
- Washing your hands often, particularly if you are around people who may be
- Optimizing your nutritional status
This last one is a bit vague...after all, if you're eating well or at least taking a
multivitamin, don't you have good nutritional status? The short answer, almost
without exception, is "no." The food we eat nowadays is generally deficient in
vitamins and minerals for various reasons. And multivitamins are helpful, but I
consider multivitamins a good basic "insurance plan," when the goal is just health
maintenance. In this case, our goal is to prevent the swine flu, so it is good to tailor
nutritional supplementation accordingly.
The most discussed natural method of preventing the swine flu this year is vitamin D
supplementation. Vitamin D is often found in food in doses that are laughably low
compared with what our body needs. Certain coldwater fish are the only significant
dietary source of vitamin D. The best source of vitamin D is the sun. Light-skinned
individuals can produce up to 20,000 IUs of vitamin D merely by spending 15 minutes
in direct sunlight, while one cup of fortified milk provides only 100 IUs of vitamin D.
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 200 IUs for adults, 400 IUs for
children - but this is only to prevent bone diseases like rickets and osteomalacia, not
to optimize immune function.
There is significant evidence nowadays linking low vitamin D levels in the body to low
immunity. Indeed, some health care professionals and scientists - myself included -
consider the lack of sunlight exposure in the winter months (and the resultant lack of
vitamin D absorption) a significant reason why colds and the flu are so prevalent at
It is a good idea to get your vitamin D levels checked right now. They should be
above 50 ng/mL. If you are an adult, and your vitamin D levels are low, start high-
dose supplementation of 5,000 IUs per day, then check again in 3 months. Or get
plenty of sunshine- at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight on as much skin as possible
About The Author
Scott Isaacs, ND, D.C.
Do you have health issues that aren't being adequately addressed by traditional
medicine? Naturopathic care may be the answer you're looking for. Visit for more information about naturopathic medicine, and begin
your journey toward optimal health!
Swine flu is currently at the forefront
of our health concerns. Experts are
predicting a pandemic this season.
The White House estimates that
roughly 90,000 people will die of the
swine flu - more than twice the
number in a typical flu season.
Vaccine manufacturers are working
overtime to create a flu vaccine; this
vaccine is expected to be ready by
the middle of October.
The symptoms of the swine flu are
pretty much identical to the
symptoms of regular influenza,
including a cough, fever, achy
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remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise program.
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