Vitamin D3 Your secret weapon in flu prevention

  • Tara Andresen

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Did you know that taking Vitamin D3 on a regular basis can help improve your body’s ability to ward off influenza?

First things first – What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin – it’s a precursor to steroid hormones. Vitamin D is made by our skin from exposure to UV light from the sun. Decreased exposure to sunlight in the fall and winter months in Toronto means that our bodies are producing less Vitamin D naturally. There are multiple forms of Vitamin D, but the one that is best used in the body is Vitamin D3 (aka. Cholecalciferol)

Getting healthy – How can Vitamin D help with the flu?

Recent resarch supports the theory that low sunlight exposure and secondary deficiencies of vitamin D underlie susuceptibility to colds and influenza. It turns out that the anti-microbial cells that line the respiratory tract are dependent on Vitamin D. As a result, by acting on these immune cells, Vitamin D prevents lung infections associated with influenza.

What’s next – How much should I take?

Individual Vitamin D3 requirements can vary considerably so it’s best to have your Vitamin D levels tested through a simple blood test done by either your Naturopathic or Medical Doctor. The best lab test is 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D. Based on your blood testing and medical history, your Naturopathic Doctor can assess and make recommendations to meet your individual Vitamin D3 needs. Those people who are on high levels of calcium supplementation need to be monitored and have their D3 dosing adjusted accordingly to prevent excessive calcium deposits in the body. Additionally, any digestive concerns need to be taken into account (ie. problems with breaking down fats), so that Vitamin D3 absorption can be optimized.

Vitamin D3 is only one of many natural therapies available for flu prevention. Your naturopathic doctor can help you understand which options are best for you.

Yours in health,
Dr. Tara Andresen, ND

Dr. is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Toronto, Ontario. She follows an evidence-based approach to , incorporating the latest scientific research into effective individualized treatment plans for a wide variety of .