Reduce your Risk of FLU
Could a vacation rather than a vaccine protect you better from the Swine Flu? Seasonal influenza has been linked with a deficiency of solar radiation, which triggers production of vitamin D. Simply put, the sun does not shine enough in Ireland.
At a cost of millions of Euros’ the Irish Government are getting ready for the rollout of the Swine Flu H1N1 vaccines produced by the large US pharmaceutical company Baxter. Employers, media sources and the medical professions will soon be putting pressure on the citizens of Ireland to get inoculated with the vaccine to “protect” us from the flu which is also known as the influenza an infection of the respiratory system. The main symptoms of influenza include fever, sore throat, headache, cough and nasal congestion.
But yet it is interesting to note that not every government is investing its finances in the vaccine for the Swine flu. The Canadian government and more specifically the provinces of Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia have suspended seasonal flu shots for anyone less than 65 years of age in response to a recent Canadian study.
The lead researcher Danuta Skowronski of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Gaston De Serres of Laval University have confounded infectious-disease experts in suggesting that people vaccinated against seasonal flu are twice as likely to catch swine flu.
An international panel is currently scrutinizing the research data. Dr. Ethan Rubinstein, head of adult infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba, who has read the study, said it appears sound. "There are a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers," he said. "And the sample size is very large at “12 or 13 million people took from the central reporting systems in three provinces. The research is solid."
The vaccine suspensions do not apply for people over 65. Seniors are considered more susceptible to severe seasonal flu symptoms. At the same time, they carry antibodies from a 1957 pandemic that seem to neutralize the current version of H1N1.
Vitamin D Deficency
The Canadian government has taken a refreshing approach to build health to prevent the spread of swine flu and not the magic bullet of inoculation. In 1981, R. Edgar Hope Simpson who became famous in the late 1960's after he discovered the cause of shingles proposed that a principal cause of the seasonal epidemic influenza is intimately linked with the deficiency of solar radiation which triggers the production of Vitamin D in the skin.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the winter as we receive it in large amounts from the sun and in smaller quantities from oily fish like macarel, herring, sardines and foods like eggs and fortified milk.
Oregon State University said that vitamin D is crucial to boosting the immune system and defending itself against invading organisms. The unrecognised epidemic of vitamin D deficiency worldwide is a contributing factor of many chronic debilitating diseases as the supplying of adequate Vitamin d supports multiple organs.
The active form of Vitamin D, acts as a “brake” on the immune system by inhibiting the secretion of various inflammatory cytokines that are critical to the immune system. Cytokines are often secreted by immune cells that have encountered a pathogen thereby activating and recruiting further immune cells to increase the system's response to the pathogen. Vitamin D deficiency affects the immune system’s capacity to self-regulate and can therefore lead to tissue damage via overproduction of potentially pathogenic cytokines.
How much Vitamin D
The current dietary guidelines for humans to consume of Vitamin D are 50-200 IU a day. Children with vitamin D deficient are much more likely to suffer from respiratory infections. This recommended daily allowance number is inadequate and it was used as a number to prevent humans from Ricketts and not to build health as the people were unaware of the many benefits of vitamin D.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s Dr Michael Hollick recommends 50,000 IU per 8 weeks and then 50,000 IU per month for 3 to 4 months. It is impossible for people in Ireland to obtain these quantities from their diet.
Our Summer was on a Thursday this year and I missed it as I was working that day but I knew that A single, twenty-minute, full body exposure to summer sun will trigger the delivery of 20,000 units of vitamin D into the circulation of most people within 48 hours.
Twenty thousand units, that's the single most important fact about vitamin D. Compare that to the 100 units you get from a glass of milk, or the several hundred daily units the government recommend as "Adequate Intake."
The reality is that the sun does not shine in Ireland too often and our synthesis ceases from October to March. If the sun does come out the use of Sun Block SPF 8 and eye shades and these products reduce vitamin D synthesis by 95%.
We spend too much time indoors. We have evolved from cavemen in black holes to builders, carpenters and labourer’s working outdoors to cavemen in offices and the excess layers of clothing we wear further inhibit our Vitamin D absorption.
If we don’t each fish in large enough quantities like the Inuit tribe to obtain Vitamin D, and our sun exposure is minimal we are left to look for alternatives. Vitamin D regulates genetic expression in hundreds of tissues throughout your body and it can turn protein production on and off. If we don't expose ourselves to ultraviolet light, we must get vitamin D from dietary supplements.
Dr John J Cannell began testing his patient's vitamin D blood levels and giving them literature on vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is practically universal among dark skinned people and the elderly and these are the two groups most likely to die from influenza.
The elderly in most countries are also much more likely to die in the winter than the summer months due to influenza. Since Cannell’s patients came directly from prison or jail, they get little opportunity for sun exposure.
After finding out that his patients had low levels of Vitamin D, he started to prescribe supplementation of Vitamin D to his patients. Impressed with his results and the reduction of all types of flu’s and respiratory infections, he started to research it further. Cannell submitted a paper called Epidemiology and Infection along with the assistance of other renowned professors. There theory is annual fluctuations in vitamin D levels explain the seasonality of influenza.
The periodic seasonal fluctuations in 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels, which cause recurrent and predictable wintertime vitamin D deficiency, predispose human populations to influenza epidemics. They theorised that George Bernard Shaw was right when he said, "the characteristic microbe of a disease might be a symptom instead of a cause."