Flu this year is very bad. I can't help but feel much of this could have been avoided or severity lessened if people had their vitamin D level tested and supplemented if their levels were below 50 ng/ml. The sweet spot for full immune protection is between 50-70 ng/ml NOT 20-50 as reported by the medical establishment - although there is debate now on what an ideal blood range should be and some feel 60 is better:
Vitamin D is more than a vitamin. It is actually a hormone as many of the body's cell types have vitamin D receptors (making it a hormone in behavior). Cells that are particularly receptive (and activated) by vitamin D are T-cells - specifically the ones which attack virus'. In fact, vitamin D is essential for our immune system to work.
When a flu virus particle(s) enter your system, T-cells which have Vitamin D are activated and begin to attack the virus. The more vitamin D available to activate T-cells the faster the response to the flu invader. Low vitamin D levels impede the ability of T-cells to activate. Without vitamin D bound to vitamin D recepter on a T-cell, that T-cell stays inactive. It's like having a stable of attack dogs locked in their kennel while invaders are rampaging the property. Not much good protecting you when they are locked up (full disclosure: we have several Dobermans). Vitamin D "unlocks" the T-cell kennel and lets them out.
Why is flu common in winter? Less sun. Vitamin D is produced by the skin when exposed to strong sunlight. Flu spreads like crazy in winter. In summer - more sun, more vitamin D produced and not enough people to vector the flu virus. Flu is around all year - but only reaches epidemic proportions when enough people have too low a vitamin D level in winter (< ---- my opinion) so the virus can spread like wildfire - as it is doing now. An important note - vitamin D takes time to build up in the body and time to decrease naturally. It is fat soluble and is stored. Half life of vitamin D is two months. This is why flu's peak in winter (as opposed to fall) <---my opinion, once the sun gets weaker, our vitamin D levels start to fall to half - two months later.
Its saddens me to think how many people especially young people have died from this years flu who probably also had very low vitamin D levels (because they live in front of computers) and might have been spared.
(I use to get the flu all of the time - whenever there was a warning about flu season - sure enough I get it. Almost always in late December in time for Christmas. Little did I know for all these years my vitamin D status was near or below 20 ng/ml. I don't drink milk (which is fortified with some vitamin D (but not enough)) or dairy in general and I avoided the sun because I was told the sun is bad for you (what nonsense now when I look back on that). Getting CML awakened me to nutrition and health overall. With a lot of reading, I learned that vitamin D is vital to our immune system. I increased my vitamin D level to where it is now by supplementing - and I have never had a flu since... or a cold, sneeze or cough either). I just don't get sick anymore even though I am surrounded lately by people sick with the flu - some with severe cases. Those who had their vitamin D level checked, were around 20 - imagine that.)
Diagnosed 11 May 2011 (100% FiSH, 155% PCR)
with b2a2 BCR-ABL fusion transcript coding for the 210kDa BCR-ABL protein
Sprycel: 20 mg per day - taken at lights out with Quercetin and/or Magnesium Taurate
6-8 grams Curcumin C3 complex.
2015 PCR: < 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
2016 PCR: < 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
March 2017 PCR: 0.01% (M.D. Anderson scale)
June 2017 PCR: "undetected"
September 2017 PCR: "undetected"