Swine Flu, Seasonal Flu, And Vitamin D Studies
Flu bugs, whether from Asia or swine, will doubtless hit millions of people in the U.S. this year, but recent research about last year's pandemic and seasonal flu, gives us more hope about what's likely to happen this year, and how you can possibly prevent them altogether or, at least, reduce your suffering!
One study, conducted by the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin, had tracked hospital admission and severity of symptoms, including death from seasonal flu among children and adults during the 2007 - 2008 and 2008 - 2009 flu seasons and from May to November 2009, when the swine flu, or H1N1 hit.
Comparing the severity of symptoms of the swine H1N1 2009 to those of the seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 flus 2009, the researchers found that "the clinical manifestations and risk of hospital admission are similar for 2009 H1N1 and other seasonal influenza A strains among those presenting for medical care and documented to have influenza infection," even though children were more targeted by the swine H1N1 flu.
Another interesting finding, this by researchers at Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, is of pertinence, especially to those of us who regularly skip flu vaccinations. The Jikei research was based on prior research that showed that children who are deficient in vitamin D are significantly more likely to get the flu than children who were sufficient in blood levels of vitamin D.
In fact, in the Jikei study, D-deficient children who were given vitamin D supplements, 10.8 succumbed to the flu, while 18.6 of the children who received placebos got the flu - a difference of 42 percent between the two groups. Additionally the 10.8 percent of D-supplemented children who did get the flu represented half of the children affected in the past.
These findings confirm the anecdotal medical evidence of D-supplementation either by exposure to sunshine or vitamin D supplements, that vitamin D offers significant protection for children and adults, against the flu - as much or more than flu vaccines, which may not prevent against the type of flu going around in a given year.