About a month ago, a series of respiratory viruses was making its way through the ‘Valley of the Sun’ (Phoenix). I went to see a client on a Monday-she said she had awoke during the night with a ‘tickle’ in her throat, but wasn’t feeling bad. She asked if I still wanted to work with her that day. I replied “do you have a fever, or are you coughing or sneezing?”, to which she replied NO!
A couple of days later, Wednesday night, I think it was, I woke in the night to a feeling in the back of my throat that I knew was the sign of a cold coming on. The next morning, I still felt okay, so I went to work. On my route that particular day was a doctor (an MD who practices homeopathy) who I do therapy on. When I mentioned to him that I thought I may be coming down with a cold, he said “I’ve got something that will knock it out in three (that’s 3) days.” He gave me three tablets of vitamin D3, but it wasn’t your ordinary D3. These capsules contained 50,000 IU’s of the vitamin (current recommendations are for 600-800 IU’s/day). He told me to take one per day, and it would ‘knock it out’. By God he was right. The next couple of days I was in the throes of a major head cold, but by the fourth day, I was definitely feeling better, and by the end of the fifth day, I was back to normal. I was so pleased, I had to share this info with my clients. One client also shared this with two of her friends who had also come down with the virus, and both took mega-doses of vitamin D3 (~30,000 IU’s), and both reported much shorter days of illness.
The reason I’m mentioning this vitamin D3 cure, is that recently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) dropped a bombshell. The IOM is an organization of the US government, and one of its tasks is setting the recommended daily intakes of various nutrients for the general population. These guidelines had not been updated for 13 years, and with all of the good press in recent years of the benefits of increasing vitamin D3 intake (reduced colon and other cancer risks, bone health, immune system function, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes type 2, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, autism, depression, peripheral artery disease, etc), I and others, most notably Dr. Julian Whitaker, were looking forward to some reasonable recommendations regarding nutritional supplements. Instead, they came up with this ‘bogus’ recommendation-“Most Americans and Canadians up to age 70 need no more than 600 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day to maintain health, and those 71 and older may need as much as 800 IU’s.” Incredible and sad. There is NO scientific evidence that 10,000 IU’s of D3 causes harm, and, according to Dr. Whitaker, doses multiple times higher have been shown to be safe and effective.
How much should you take? My doctor friend, Dr. Ber, recommends 2,000 to 5,000 per day, more, short-term (less than a week) if you have an illness. D3 is an incredible immune-system booster. It’s true that you can manufacture vitamin D3 from exposure to the sun (here in Phoenix, an hour of midday sun in June provides 10,000 IU’s of D3), but in northern climates (above a line from Washington D.C. to St Louis to Reno, during the winter, a person could stay out all day and not produce much, if any D3. Supplementation is vital, and , fortunately, D3 is easily absorbed and assimilated. Personally, I take 3,000 IU’s daily.
For a good read on vitamin D3 and the research, check out Dr. Whitaker’s February 2011 Health & Healing newsletter. The web address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.
PS: The client who had the “tickle’ in her throat came down with the cold the same day I did. She did not supplement with extra vitamin D3, and the duration of her cold lasted almost two weeks. coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. I’m sticking with D3