Vitamin D might be just as important as vaccine to prevent effects of H1N1
swine flu, researchers say

TORONTO, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - The world's leading vitamin D experts say that raising your levels of "the sunshine vitamin" this winter might be the best way to help your body naturally raise its resistance to all forms of the flu virus - including the H1N1 swine flu virus.

That's the message vitamin D advocate Dr. William Grant wants you to take to the bank.

"I'm a little hesitant to say it will reduce your risk of being infected, but it certainly will reduce your risk of dying from the complications, such as pneumonia, if you are infected," says Grant, founder of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center - a vitamin D research and advocacy group.

Grant is concerned that epidemic vitamin D deficiency in Canada -- 97 percent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient in the winter due to Canada's northerly latitudes and relatively weak sunlight 4-6 months of the year -- means that Canadians could be more susceptible to flu virus in the winter.

Grant points to research suggesting:

    
    -  Higher vitamin D levels assist the body's innate immune system. Some
       studies suggest taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D/day will decrease your
       risk of seasonal flu.
    -  The groups most affected by the H1N1 swine flu virus have been those
       most likely to be vitamin D deficient: pregnant women, obese people,
       those with Type II diabetes and children with neurological disorders.
    -  Many of the deaths associated with the H1N1 virus have been pneumonia
       related, which means anything that would assist your body's innate
       immune system would make you less likely to be affected.
    

The worldwide vitamin D research community now recommends getting your vitamin D levels checked with a calcidiol test and maintaining vitamin D levels of 40-60 ng/ml.

November is Vitamin D Awareness Month in Canada. For more information about the benefits of vitamin D visit:

    
    www.vitaminDsociety.org
    www.GrassRootsHealth.org
    www.VitaminDcouncil.org
    

SOURCE Vitamin D Society

For further information: For further information: Michelle Di Rocco, (416) 360-6522 ext 251, michelle@punchcanada.com or Danna Barak at danna@punchcanada.com

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Vitamin D Society

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