When the H1N1 virus was running rampant around a few years ago, our city ran out of flu vaccinations. This meant that although they had been urging all to get the vaccine, they had to pull back and limit the available supplies to the elderly and sick.
In our family, we’ve never gotten flu shots although I did used to take my Grandmother for one every year when she was alive. However, H1N1 was definitely something to pay attention to and after recommending that everyone get a shot for it, to have run out of supplies was disconcerting.
After getting everyone hyped up that we needed that vaccine, what were the rest of us to do in the face of the epidemic? The Health Board recommended the healthy individuals who were not eligible for the vaccine to start taking Vitamin D supplements to boost our immune system. So, after reading up on Vitamin D, I concluded that it was very good advice even without the swine flu scare.
Vitamin D is also known as the Sunshine Vitamin. Very few foods contain Vitamin D, but when you go out in the sunlight, your skin absorbs the UVB rays and turns it into Vitamin D. You don’t need a lot of direct sunlight for your body to make a sufficient amount, but you do need direct exposure to your skin. That means in the wintertime, even when the sun is out, most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D even if we’re outside because we’re bundled up for the weather.
It’s been known for a long time to be an essential part of healthy bones. It also has been found to reduce your chances of heart disease, cancer, depression as well as Alzheimers but in recent studies, there has been more and more evidence that Vitamin D also simply bolsters your natural immune system.
Every year I seem to catch every cold and flu that goes around. Not only do I catch everything, but I like to make it last twice as long as an ordinary person. Of course, the kids are always bringing home some new germs for me to try out. Needless to say, the winter months can be long and miserable for me.
I took the health board’s advice and bought some Vitamin D3 (more efficient than D2) supplements for the whole family. I give the kids and My King 400 IU a day from October to March, and let them get their natural vitamins from the sun the rest of the year. Because I am more prone to get colds and flues and I tend to stay out of the sun as much as possible, I take 2000 IU in the winter and 1000 IU a day in the summer.
The results in my family have been overwhelming. My King and I haven’t had a cold or flu in the 2 years we’ve been adding Vitamin D to our diets. The kids still bring home germs, but they seem to get over any sniffles way faster than before. I am convinced that it’s the extra Vitamin D that’s keeping us healthier, and we still never had a flu shot!