Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

Flu, Virus and Immunity

Nutrients reduce seasonal infection and boost immunity

In a children’s flu study, researchers said, Danish scientists recently discovered vitamin D triggers immunity system killer T-cells, white blood cells which attack viruses, but remain inactive when vitamin D is low.

In this study, 334 kids took 1,200 IU of vitamin D per day, or a placebo, from December through March. Over this time, 19 percent in the placebo group got influenza A compared to 11 percent for the Vitamin D.

In those whose vitamin D levels were higher, 83 percent had no infection.

In those with asthma, 12 in the placebo group had an asthma attack compared to two in the vitamin D group. The researchers believe vitamin D could have been even more effective in preventing flu because it takes about three months to build up a base level in the blood, and the study began after flu season had started.

Check out the CDC (Center for Disease Control) updated map on where the Influenza (flu) is. CDC Map

In a related study, researchers measured vitamin D levels during the fall and winter in 195 men and women aged 20 to 88. Over four months, 84 participants got viral infections. In those whose vitamin D levels were lower than 38 nanograms per milliliter of blood, 55 percent had no respiratory tract infection. In those whose vitamin D levels were higher, 83 percent had no infection.

In two lab studies, researchers exposed white-blood killer T-cells to influenza A and other viruses before and after healthy donors had taken the probiotic Bacillus coagulans or 15 mg of zinc per day for the previous month. In both studies, killer T-cell activity significantly increased after taking probiotics or zinc.

Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2010, Vol. 91, No. 5, 1255-60

This article was also published in our newletter “Natural Insights for Well Being”, September 2010. Stop by Van’s Health Foods at 2148 First Street Livermore, CA or call us at 925-447-2976 to be added to our mailing list.

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Thank you,

The Van’s Health Foods Team

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