Vitamin D, or rather a lack of it, may have something to do with the regular flaring up of influenza in the winter months. A team of Harvard based researchers is "focusing on a provocative new hypothesis that blames annual flu epidemics on something most people don't get enough of this time of year: sunshine", reports the Baltimore Sun.
In a paper scheduled for publication next month in the journal Epidemiology and Infection, a Harvard University-led team proposes that a vitamin D deficiency caused by inadequate winter sun exposure may predispose people to infection.
Vitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin, because it is manufactured in the human body whenever we catch some of the sun's rays.
We know all about the need to supply the vitamin - either by exposure to sunshine or by supplements - to avoid rickets and brittle bones. D takes available calcium from softer tissues, shunts it to the bones and helps to fix the mineral there. The flip side of that important function is a sun stroke, where too much vitamin D - too much exposure to the sun in that case - results in too little calcium left in the soft tissues, compromising muscle function in a dangerous way.
But the theory that vitamin D could determine whether we catch the flu or not is throwing the medical world into a slight commotion. The various pros and cons are masterfully put together in the Baltimore Sun article by reporter Michael Stroh.
Certainly the flu vaccine is no great protection, according to some experts. Also, don't give too much weight to the CDC's propaganda of 36,000 people killed by influenza in an average year, which has found its way into the Sun article. That figure is a hopeless exaggeration, bandied about to make you be good and get your flu shots. The real figures have been found by Jon Rappoport and can be found this article posted two years ago.
Anyway, here's a copy of the Baltimore Sun article...
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Less sun, more sneezing
Theory suggests that a shortage of vitamin D triggers outbreaks of flu
By Michael Stroh
Originally published November 26, 2006
( see the original here )
As the annual flu season looms, some scientists have this question on their minds: Why now?
For more than a century, physicians have recognized that influenza sweeps the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months, typically peaking here between late December and March.
Over the years they've floated numerous theories to explain the seasonal flu spike - blaming everything from the flood of frigid air to the wintertime tendency of people to huddle indoors.