This winter thousands of Australians will come down with influenza, otherwise known as the flu. By ensuring you have optimal blood vitamin D levels, you are setting yourself up for the best defence from becoming infected.
The flu is caused by a specific group of RNA viruses and can be spread by an infected person coughing or sneezing. You can also catch the flu from touching an item contaminated by the virus.
There is a big difference between a cold and the flu.
A cold is much less severe. The flu tends to come on suddenly and can make you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. It causes a high fever and there is usually loss of appetite and coughing. The flu leaves you flat on your back, unable to work or study.
You may not realise that Influenza causes 1,500 to 3,500 deaths in Australia each year.
A new flu vaccine is developed annually, however, because the viruses responsible mutate so quickly,
the vaccine is often not effective.
You probably know that vitamin D is critical for keeping your bones strong, but did you know it benefits your immune system?
Your white blood cells contain vitamin D receptors. When vitamin D binds to them, it causes the release of antimicrobial proteins that help your body fight invading viruses and germs.
People with lower blood vitamin D levels are more susceptible to getting sick, and tend to have a more severe infection.
Vitamin D insufficiency is surprisingly common in sunny Australia, particularly in winter. You make vitamin D in your skin when you are exposed to the sun’s UVB rays. Midday is when UVB rays are strongest, and this is the time when many people are indoors working.
In much of Australia the sun is too weak during winter, therefore even if you are outdoors a lot, you could still be low in vitamin D. A vitamin D supplement may be your best option for keeping your immune system strong.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. This author of this article is a third party and does not express the views held by Medlab or its staff. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional in the event something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.