Friday, March 21, 2008

Vitamins Reduce the Duration and Severity of Influenza

(OMNS, March 19, 2008) Vitamins fight the flu by boosting the body’s own immune response and by accelerating healing. Individuals can be better prepared for an influenza epidemic by learning how to use vitamin supplements to fight off ordinary respiratory infections. The most important vitamins are vitamins C, D, niacin, and thiamine.

Vitamin D Vitamin D has known anti-viral properties [1] and has been directly associated with fighting influenza in a recent scientific review. [2] Extensive evidence now shows that vitamin D serves as an important regulator of immune system responses. [3] The most dramatic evidence is a recent double-blind trial proving that vitamin D prevents cancers [4], supported by two recent epidemiological studies. [5,6] Vitamin D has been part of a supplement combination proven effective against HIV in a recent double-blind trial. [7]

During a viral infection, the body can draw on vitamin D stored in the body to supply the increased needs of the immune system. The withdrawn supplies of vitamin D are quickly replenished with 4,000 to 10,000 IU/day doses for a few days. Due to biochemical individuality, we recommend vitamin D blood testing as a routine part of a yearly physical exam.

Niacin Niacin has known anti-viral properties. The most persuasive evidence comes from recent work with HIV patients.[8-12] Niacin is required for cells to generate the energy they use to perform virtually all biological functions.

Niacin’s effectiveness fighting viruses may have to do with accelerating wound healing as well as improving immunity. Accelerating tissue repair limits collateral damage and minimizes the risk of secondary infection. Niacin has been proven to promote healing of damaged skin in double-blind trials. [13] Other recent findings (niacin reduces injury to the brain after strokes and reduces inflammation in general) also provide evidence of healing. [14,15] Read the full story >>

No comments: