We’re right in the middle of winter, and you know what that means! The weather is cold, the days are short, and it seems like EVERYONE is getting sick! Sore throats, coughing fits, and sniffles seem to take over during the cold winter months – and who has time for that? Whether you’re an adult with an office full of co-workers, or you have a child at school surrounded by dozens of other coughing children, we are always in contact with numerous individuals who more than likely will become afflicted with a cold or the flu this winter season.
We already established no one really has the time to be sick during our busy lives (and even if you have the time, who wants to be sick?), but if you’re surrounded by people who are sick, what can you do to prevent yourself from getting a cold or the flu? The good news is that there IS something that you can do, and the research is clear that it will help you tremendously this winter season.
Before we get into what you can do, let’s take a look at WHY the winter months become a breeding-ground for colds and flus. The world is full of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that we encounter on a daily basis. Your body is designed with an inborn immune system in which its only job is to fight off bacteria, viruses, and foreign invaders to keep you healthy and safe. When you get sick, it’s because your immune system is not strong enough to fight off a bacteria or a virus that has entered your body. The best way to stay healthy and NOT get sick, then, is to keep your immune system strong. So why do our immune systems get so much weaker in the winter?
There’s a simple answer, and it has to do with the SUN! In particular, the sun allows our bodies to convert an inactive form of Vitamin D2 into the active form, Vitamin D3, which is an essential vitamin required for a strong immune system that is equipped to battle colds and flus. When the weather gets cold and our days get shorter, what happens to our sun exposure? We are exposed to MUCH less sunlight than we get in the summertime, and therefore, our bodies cannot convert enough Vitamin D2 into Vitamin D3 to keep up with what our immune systems needs to stay strong enough to fight off bacteria and viruses. This means that our immune systems get weak. When our immune systems are weak, we cannot fight off bacteria and viruses and we become much more susceptible to getting sick even when we encounter the same amount of bacteria, viruses, and “germs” that we encounter during the summer time.
So where should we get our Vitamin D during the winter?
If we can’t get enough sunlight to keep our Vitamin D3 levels sufficient in the winter, then we must take in the active form of Vitamin D3 through our diets – unless we want to end up being more susceptible to colds and flus, (Any takers? Didn’t think so.)
Food sources of Vitamin D3 include the livers of animals and fish; however, due to industrial animal farming, this source of Vitamin D3 is no longer free of contaminants and toxins.
Therefore, the best way to get Vitamin D3 if you cannot get it from sunlight or from pure foods is to take a supplement. However, you must be VERY picky about what Vitamin D3 supplement you choose in order to make sure you are getting a good quality product. This is IMPORTANT.
Please be sure that your Vitamin D supplement is:
- Vitamin D3 from lanolin
- Certified contaminant-free
- Tested for quality and purity
Pillar Chiropractic’s recommended brand of Vitamin D3 is “Innate Choice D-Sufficiency”. It has been third-party tested for purity, so you can be sure that you are getting the best quality Vitamin D3 on the market. We do NOT recommend purchasing Vitamin D through lower-grade sources, because we cannot guarantee their quality and you very well may be taking a synthetic, toxic version of “Vitamin D”.
I spent the majority of this blog post talking about all of Vitamin D’s benefits for your immune system; however, Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for bone, joint, and nervous system health. As a Neurostructural Chiropractor, I focus on analyzing your spine for neurostructural shifts that are affecting how your nerves (aka: your nervous system) is functioning. In order to get the best results for Neurostructural Correction, Pillar Chiropractic includes Innate Choice’s Vitamin D supplements in our Supplemental Requirements for our Initial Phase of Correction Care Plans. Our patients not only reap the benefits of a much stronger immune system, but a healthier nervous system overall.
Don’t just take my word for it.
Here are studies showing the benefits of Vitamin D3 supplementation:
1. “A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study reported that children taking Vitamin D3 daily in the winter were 75% less likely to get Type A influenza.”
(Urashima, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. May 2010. Vol 91(5):1255-60.)
2. “In a three year trial supplementing with Vitamin D, the incidence of colds and flu were reduced by 70%. After two years, they increased the amount of Vitamin D intake and reached nearly a 100% prevention rate for colds and flu. In fact, only 1 out of 104 subjects developed a cold or the flu in the final year.”
(Aloia, J et al. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiology and Infection. 2007. Vol 135(7):1095-1098.)
3. “On the basis of studies reviewed to date, the strongest evidence supports vitamin D therapy for influenza (flu) and viral upper respiratory tract illnesses (colds).”
(Yamshchikov, A et al. Vitamin D treatment and prevention of infectious diseases: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Endocrine Practice. 2009. Vol 15(5):438-449.)
At the risk of boring you with studies, I’ll leave it at that. However, the evidence is clear. Vitamin D is an essential part of a healthy immune system, and including supplementation in your daily routine will create a stronger, healthier you.
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