An alternative to the flu vaccine

Flu season is upon us and you may be thinking about getting a flu shot  hoping that it will lower your risk of getting the flu this winter season.  However, there are a few things to consider before making this decision.

It’s impossible to predict with certainty which flu strains will predominate over a given flu season, impacting the effectiveness of the flu vaccine from year to year.  In fact, according to the CDC, “During years when the flu vaccine is not well matched to circulating viruses, it’s possible that no benefit from flu vaccination may be observed.

There are also potential side effects from the injectable flu vaccine or the nasal spray including:

In children

In adults

runny nose

runny nose

wheezing

headache

headache

sore throat

vomiting

cough

muscle aches

Body aches

fever

 

One of the most effective ways to stave off the flu, with or without the vaccine, is to ensure that your immune system is functioning at its peak.  A number of controlled studies have determined the  link between optimal vitamin D levels and a lower risk of upper respiratory tract illnesses, including influenza.

More than one half of U.S. adults have vitamin D levels that are insufficient (less than 30 ng/mL).  As is true for most people, if your levels are low, taking the recommended low dose of 600 IU (or 800 IU if you’re 70 or older) of vitamin D daily will not be effective in raising your levels to  the recommended 60-80 ng/mL that provides protection against the flu. Research has shown; however, that a single high dose of 100,000 IU of Vitamin D taken for 2 days can raise levels 15 ng/mL in only two days.

As an alternative to the flu vaccine, we are recommending 100,000 IU of vitamin D be taken for three days, under a doctor’s supervision and in conjunction with Vitamin D levels being measured through your physician. Most people will need to follow this with 5,000 IU of vitamin D taken once daily thereafter (again under a doctor’s supervision).  In addition, it is essential that you take vitamin K2 along with vitamin D as Vitamin K is critical for maintaining calcium in your bones rather than depositing it in the walls of your blood vessels when taking Vitamin D.  We carry both the high dose vitamin D supplements (50,000 IU’s) and K2 supplements in our office.

Please contact our office today to have your vitamin D levels checked to determine if is this protocol is right for you. 512.343.9355.

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