Everyone knows winter is cold and flu season. As if being cooped up inside ‘sharing’ germs with people isn’t enough, vitamin D levels are at their lowest levels due to the fact that we are exposed to much less sunlight. Our immune systems rely on good levels of this vitamin to fight off infections, and there’s a lot of evidence that low D levels lead to susceptibility to colds and flu. But, vitamin D’s benefits go way beyond mere colds and flu. Elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular markers are linked to low vitamin D levels. Guess what? More heart attacks occur in the winter months, and they are not all due to shoveling snow. Danish researchers recently found that, compared to people with the highest vitamin D levels, those with the lowest were 64% more likely to suffer a heart attack and had an 81% higher risk of dying from heart disease. Additional research point to vitamin D’s protective effects against asthma, obesity, Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes, fibroids, fractures, skin conditions, muscle weakness, and some types of cancer. For more information on vitamin D and the references to the above studies, see Dr. Whitaker’s Health & Healing, 12/2013. I personally take 6,000 I U’s per day. Vitamin D is inexpensive and easily absorbed.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.