Vitamin D Protects Children from Influenza A
I am delighted to see a new article in the May issue of the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which confirms advice I had been giving my patients last fall in the flu season.
In this amazing article by Hiroynik Ida and others, from December 2008 through March 2009 they researchers conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D3 supplements in schoolchildren. In one group of children they gave the children 1200 IU of vitamin D3 every day and the other group of children received placebos.
They then specifically looked for influenza A infections in the two groups of children. The H1NI flu of this past winter is an Influenza A virus. In children who were sick they specifically diagnosed influenza A with nose swab cultures, the classical way of diagnosing these infections.
The findings were that the children who were given the vitamin D3 had a 42% reduction in the frequency of influenza A infections. This is obviously a major reduction.
Another significant finding, which I have spoken about in my book and in this blog, was that in children who had a previous diagnosis of asthma, asthma attacks were reduced by 83% in the group of children taking the vitamin D3.
I am delighted to see these type of studies coming out, confirming what I have discussed in my book and what I have been telling my patients in my practice.
The wonderful thing about this study is that it was not an associational study. Rather they used the gold standard-double-blind crossover placebo-controlled type of trial. This is the only type of research that many conventional physicians will accept as valid. Most previous studies on the effect of vitamin D in relation to influenza were associational only.
All children over the age of 1 in our country, until their early teens, should be on at least 1000 IU of vitamin D3 every day. With blood tests even higher levels can be taken to optimize the children's health.
Please help me spread the word about this to your friends and family.