Each year the flu season rolls around in late Fall and anticipation abounds. Will one or more of us in the family catch what is going around? Maybe this year we can help prevent it.
Is Vitamin D Finding Its Way As A Tool In Flu Prevention?
Much research on this fabulous vitamin especially in the last decade have found that ingesting vitamin D3[not the D 2 used in milk supplements for many decades] was found to lessen the incidence of the flu. D2 we are told is only about 40% as effective in performance as D3 which is free coming from UVB rays generated from the sun. Researchers tell us that the RDA of 600 I.U. for age range 50-70 set a few decades ago is far below the ideal needs of the human body and that 1000 I.U. is the new suggested minimum.
Recent studies were made on a number of children that were given 1,200 I.U’s vitamin D3[cholecalciferol] each day. The results showed that 42% were less likely to contract the influenza virus. This data was compared to those which only took a placebo. It is very wize to maintain serum levels of 50-70 ng/ml on a year round basis in order to ward off many diseases. Because the sun can supply a much higher level of D3 and regulate and control your upper limit automatically sun exposure is by far the preferred method but in the northern latitudes of the US such as New England it is wise to supplement D3 since it is not readily available in our foods in the amounts needed for proper health without taking in much more calories than what has been suggested in the guidelines issued by nutritional experts in the U.S. and also in Europe.
Having established the fact that vitamin D3 is not found in many of the foods we eat let us list some of the foods which contain the most per serving.
Cod liver oil has the highest in that 1 tablespoon contains 1,360 IU
Salmon [of the sockeye species], 3 ounces, cooked has 447 IU
Sardines, 3.2 ounces[about 1 can] 437 IU
Mackerel, a fatty fish, cooked, 3 ounces 388 IU
Tuna fish, canned in water, 3 ounces, drained 154 IU
Milk, 25% MDR, 8 ounce glass 100 IU
Liver, Beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces 49 IU
Egg, large, found in yolk 41 IU
A simple comparison of price per IU of vitamin D results in sardines being about one half the cost of this nutrient ounce for ounce when given the price of one pound of salmon @10.00[approx.] versus canned sardines @5.00[approx.]. Given that sardines have virtually no content of Mercury compared to salmon may eventually sway some to the sardine shelf. Of course, cod liver oil is by far the most cost effective way to get your vitamin D other than the totally free sun when available.
Because of the trend toward veganism in many cases in an effort to reduce cholesterol levels many are becoming more deficient in vitamin D3. It is suggested especially in the case of the vegan to take a supplement or increase their sun exposure that could offset this. Given the latest research that vitamin D3 can prevent many diseases and the yearly flu it is imperative to give it some thought.