The last few winters, I've suffered from what seemed like a never ending series of colds. From the beginning of November all the way through about March, I was constantly sick. Since I have a four year-old and was under a great deal of stress, I just chalked it up to that.
However, January of last year, I started reading about Vitamin D, and began supplementing with around 2000 units a day using a combination of cod liver oil and D3 oil gel caps (both the specific type of Vitamin D and the specific type of pill turn out to be important). This is actually much less than the Vitamin D Council recommends, but much more than the RDA, so to be cautious, I decided to split the difference.
Lo and behold, I haven't been sick since. And I'm not alone. Cardiologist Dr. William Davis hasn't been sick once in the three years since he started supplementing with Vitamin D.
If you think about Vitamin D in terms of evolution, this all makes perfect sense. We've gone from running around outside in loin cloths all summer long to slathering on SPF 5000 before venturing out to watch the sunset. The older you get, the more you use sunblock, the farther you live from the equator, and the darker your skin color, the more likely it is that you aren't getting enough Vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency causes many more problems than just an increased susceptibility to the common cold and influenza (i.e., cancer, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and periodontal disease).
But isn't the thought of NOT GETTING SICK AT ALL this winter enough?
If not, check out the Vitamin D Council. Actually, check it out anyway. Here are a few quotes to get you started...
"Because vitamin D is so cheap and so clearly reduces all-cause mortality, I can say this with great certainty: Vitamin D represents the single most cost-effective medical intervention in the United States."Okay, I admit that I have no clue who these people are, but still...
~ Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, Medical Director, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
"I believe [vitamin D] is the number one public health advance in medicine in the last twenty years."
~ Dr. John Whitcomb, Aurora Sinai Medical Center
"This is like the Holy Grail of cancer medicine; vitamin D produced a drop in cancer rates greater than that for quitting smoking, or indeed any other countermeasure in existence."
~ Dennis Mangan, clinical laboratory scientist