Winter is fast approaching and unfortunately that means that increased colds and flu are on the horizon as well. Vitamin D is associated with a gene that modulates anti-microbial function – meaning that it will kill viruses. And yes, both the cold and the flu are caused by viruses.
The recommended strategy is to mega-dose Vitamin D at a dose of 50,000 IU for two or three days (please note ONLY two or three days) to up regulate this very important gene’s activity. When would you start? If you had any sign, based on the way you feel, that your immune system is compromised, if you’ve been taking care of a family member with the flu or a bad cold, or you’ve had a lot of fellow coworkers get ill. Remember to take Vitamin D3, not D2 that is less effective. Personally I take a liquid form that’s not only palatable but very bioavailable.
If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked recently now would be a good time. It’s well worth the slight cost to ensure a healthy winter, not to mention all the other benefits that D provides such as anti-cancer properties, bone protection and the like. We like to see your levels between 50 and 75 on a lab test. If you have or have had cancer, the higher end is recommended.
Another test you may want to run is vitamin K. While deficient vitamin D has been much discussed, one can also create an imbalance if vitamin D is high normal with a deficient vitamin K. Such an imbalance could create calcification in the body’s soft tissues. We obviously want strong bones but we don’t want calcification occurring where it shouldn’t , creating such problems as painful kidney stones. So consider checking your vitamin K levels. If you eat the dark green leafy vegetables that I heartily recommend you should be in good shape in the vitamin K department. Excellent sources include: spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale and mustard greens.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance and here’s wishing you and yours a very healthy winter.
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”