Give Your Immune System a Natural Super-Boost - Vitamin D, Colds the Flu and You
Why is the flu and cold season winter time? That is true for both hemispheres. For those in the North December, January, and February is flu and cold season. For those in the South June, July, and August is when people get flu and cold infections. This is because, as sunlight hours lessen during the winter and people become vitamin D deficient, their immunity systems weaken, and they are more susceptible to infections of all kinds.
Vitamin D is an important way to arm the immune system against disorders like the common cold, report investigators from the University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Children's Hospital Boston.
"The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu," says Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, UC Denver Division of Emergency Medicine and lead author of the study. "Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency."
While vitamin C has been used for the prevention of colds and other respiratory disorders for decades, little scientific evidence supports its effectiveness. In contrast, in recent years evidence has accumulated that vitamin D – most commonly associated with the development and maintenance of strong bones – plays a key role in the immune system. Evidence has implicated the wintertime deficiency of vitamin D, which the body produces in response to sunlight, in the seasonal increase in colds and flu; and studies have suggested an association between low blood levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of respiratory infections.
The current study analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. Participants were interviewed in their homes regarding their health and nutrition, and most participants also received a physical examination that included collection of blood and other samples for laboratory analysis. The research team analyzed blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) – the best measure of vitamin D status – from almost 19,000 adult and adolescent NHANES III participants, selected to be representative of the overall U.S. population.
Study participants with the lowest vitamin D blood levels – less than 10 mg per milliliter of blood – were about 40 percent more likely to report having a recent respiratory infection than were those with vitamin D levels of 30 or higher. The association was present in all seasons and even stronger among participants with a history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema. Asthma patients with the lowest vitamin D levels were five times more likely to have had a recent respiratory infection; while among COPD patients, respiratory infections were twice as common among those with vitamin D deficiency.
"We are planning clinical trials to test the effectiveness of vitamin D to boost immunity and fight respiratory infection, with a focus on individuals with asthma and COPD, as well as children and older adults – groups that are at higher risk for more severe illness," Ginde says. "Many Americans also need more vitamin D for its bone and general health benefits. Clinicians and laypeople should stay tuned as this exciting area of research continues to expand."
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BREAKING RESEARCH SHOWS VITAMIN D LINKED TO HDL CHOLESTEROL
Shaklee Corporation Research Suggests an Important Role of Vitamin D for Supporting Cardiovascular Health
Research supported by Shaklee Corporation, the number one natural nutrition company in the U.S., shows that a lower blood vitamin D level is associated with metabolic syndrome and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The study results were presented at the National Lipid Association Annual Scientific Sessions in Miami, Florida and suggest an important role of vitamin D nutrition for maintaining cardiovascular health.
“I am so proud to be associated with a company whose heritage has always been about improving people’s health and well-being. It’s very exciting that Shaklee has helped to bring this important research to the world, say Independent Shaklee Distributors, Sam and Bunny Sewell “The findings may have significant public health implications related to new understanding about benefits related to vitamin D supplementation,” adds Bunny.
In this study, intake of vitamin D from dietary supplements was strongly linked with vitamin D levels in the blood. The greater the intake of vitamin D from dietary supplements, the higher the amount of vitamin D found in the blood. More importantly, as vitamin D intakes increased, HDL cholesterol (or “good cholesterol”) levels increased as well. Future research is needed to determine if vitamin D from dietary supplements can lower risk levels for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
“Our next study, which is already underway, is intended to confirm causality by showing that vitamin D supplementation improves cardiovascular risk factors,” says Dr. Jamie McManus M.D., Chairman of Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education, Shaklee Corporation.
Kevin C. Maki, PhD, the study’s Principal Investigator and the Chief Science Officer of Provident Clinical Research, Glen Ellyn, IL, says, “Results from population studies suggest that a low serum vitamin D concentration is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status and cardiovascular risk factors in a group that includes a large number of vitamin D supplement users.” He continues, “Additional research is warranted to assess whether increasing vitamin D intake will improve the metabolic cardiovascular risk factor profile.”
Please contact us for free nutritional counseling or for more information, contact Sam or Bunny at The Natural Advocate firstname.lastname@example.org
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Founded more than 50 years ago, Shaklee has been a leading provider of premium-quality natural nutrition products, personal care products, and environmentally friendly home care products. In 2000, Shaklee became the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral™ certified to totally offset its CO2 emissions, resulting in a net-zero impact on the environment. With a robust product portfolio, including over 50 patents and patents pending worldwide, Shaklee has more than 750,000 Members and Distributors worldwide and operates in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China.
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