Vitamin D and Flu

With all the media coverage of the “swine flu” (H1N1) non-epidemic, I haven’t heard a single expert mention what could well be the most effective public health measure in preventing a pandemic—the recommendation for everyone to take enough vitamin D3 (or get enough un-blocked summer sun exposure) to get their 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level above 50 ng/ml (but not more than 100 ng/ml). A good rule of thumb for supplementation is 1,000 IU for every 30 pounds of body weight. If your health insurance won’t cover the cost of a vitamin D test, the least expensive way ($65) to check your level is a home test kit available through the vitamin D council’s website, unless you live in NY, in which case you’ll have to get your doctor to order a blood test for you.

To read the abstract of the study about vitamin D levels and influenza visit PubMed.