FIG. 5. Antiinflammatory effects of vitamin D in the critically ill. Plasma concentrations of CRP and IL-6 serum concentrations over time in ICU are depicted for the two study groups. Open bars represent the low-dose 200 IU/d vitamin D group (n 10), and hatched bars represent the high-dose 500 IU/d group (n 12). Data are means SEM. Elevated CRP and IL-6 levels, observed on ICU admission, decreased significantly with time in ICU in both study groups. The fall in CRP was significantly more pronounced in the high-dose vitamin D group, compared with the low-dose group between d 3 and d 7; likewise in the high-dose group, IL-6 levels decreased from admission to d 4, whereas they remained unaltered in the low-dose group.
(*, P less than 0.05.)
I love vitamin D3 5000 IU from NOW brand in olive oil (iherb.com $8.80 per bottle of #120 capsules... at 12 bottles per case)...for optimal health and longevity *smile* and optimal flu/immunological protection)
ONE A DAY KEEPS THE PULMONOLOGIST AWAY...
And when I'm coming down with a cold . . . T-E-N (10) A DAY KEEPS THE FLU AWAY :)
In fact I've been using vitamin D as an antibiotic as well for the last 18 mos and have had very few colds. Prior to supplementation, I suffered from frequent URIs, coughing spells and bronchitis that would last 8wks or longer with little benefit from albuterol and steroid inhalers. (Lack of natural estrogen, suppressed by synthetic progestin, was the cause it turns out -- and yes the drug companies know this -- yes -- read the package insert of your contraceptive).
How do you know if you are vitamin D deficient? Frequent colds? Asthma? Hayfever/Allergies? Feel crappy, achy, sad sometimes? You probably have significant vitamin D deficiency. Most lab standard ranges post 'normal' vitamin D 25(OH)D as 30 to 100 ng/ml and this is clearly out dated and 'off.' Normal for outdoor living, non-makeup, non-sunscreen-wearing individuals is ~60-80 ng/ml, and this is what should be achieved via supplementation, sun and food (food is the poorest source unless you are Inuit on a high-fat-seal/seafood-diet). And...Forget about sunlight/UVB if you live away from the equator . . . y e s . . . that includes San Francisco and anything NORTH for about ~4-6 months per year.
Antibiotic dose ('Stoss' protocol): ~25,000 to 50,000 IU daily in the AM (or split) for 3 days
(Precise dose: 1000-2000 IU per kg (or 500 IU per ~pound))
Side Effects: wake up without sniffles, scratchy throat, green phlegm, chest tightness or asthma
The above study (graph) was a short one in a small number of critically ill patients. A 'high' dose vitamin D (only 500 IU/day) was more effective at lowering CRP, marker for inflammation, and IL-6, immune marker for infected-tissue destruction, compared with 'low' dose vitamin D (200 IU/day). What does this show? Not much except . . . (1) when one is critically ill the blood vitamin D concentration hit ROCK BOTTOM (why? it's nature's antiobiotic and restorative hormone) . . . and (2) even licking a vitamin D capsule will provide IMMENSE immunological benefit and may perhaps even save your life if you are ever critically ill.
As a kid one summer, I became almost critically ill after a mild-sized 3rd degree burn on my L-thigh (which I joking refer to as my 'shark bite' if people happen to ask). As a child, the area was a significant portion of body surface area and I was near comatose for a little while (my father doesn't even remember how long). Spending 24/7 outdoors in the hot humid Pennsylvania sun that summer prior to the accident probably provided some degree of vitamin D, I believe, to have afforded some protection, healing, and surviving (in addition to the antibiotics/steroids).
Bone turnover in prolonged critical illness: effect of vitamin D. PDF here. Van den Berghe G, Van Roosbroeck D, Vanhove P, Wouters PJ, De Pourcq L, Bouillon R. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Oct;88(10):4623-32.
Below is info from Dr. Cannell and his non-profit Vitamin D Council on the curious antimicrobial protective effects and benefits of vitamin D.
May you and your family allude the flu this season!
Is Vitamin D An Antibiotic?
"Dr. Liu and colleagues at UCLA, publishing in this March's edition of the prestigious journal Science, showed that vitamin D might be, in effect, a potent antibiotic. Vitamin D increases the body's production of naturally occurring antibiotics: antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides are produced in numerous cells in the human body where they directly and rapidly destroy the cell walls of viruses and bacteria, including tuberculosis. Furthermore, Liu showed that adding vitamin D to African American serum (African Americans have higher rates of TB) dramatically increased production of these naturally occurring antibiotics.
Liu PT, Stenger S, Li H, Wenzel L, Tan BH, Krutzik SR, Ochoa MT, Schauber J, Wu K, Meinken C, Kamen DL, Wagner M, Bals R, Steinmeyer A, Zugel U, Gallo RL, Eisenberg D, Hewison M, Hollis BW, Adams JS, Bloom BR, Modlin RLToll-like receptor triggering of a vitamin D-mediated human antimicrobial response. Science. 2006 Mar
Plenty of you have e-mailed me that pharmacological doses (high doses) of vitamin D (1,000–2,000 units/kg per day for three days), taken at the first sign of influenza, effectively reduces the severity of symptoms. However, has anyone ever studied giving 100,000, 200,000, or 300,000 units a day for several days to see if vitamin D induces antimicrobial peptides to help fight other life-threatening infections? (By the way, doses up to 600,000 units as a single dose are routinely used in Europe as "Stoss" therapy to prevent vitamin D deficiency and have repeatedly been shown to be safe for short-term administration.) No, you say, studies of "Stoss" therapy in serious infections have never been studied or reported in reputable journals. Well, maybe such treatment has been studied—and reported in the best journals—by way of the weirdest medical invention ever patented in the USA."