Articulate, passionate and humorous, Dr. Holly Lucille breaks down the myths and misconceptions about health and health related topics.

Vitamin D: The Flu-Busting Nutrient

From the Show: Mindful Medicine
Summary: A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found children who took vitamin D were 40 percent less likely to catch the flu.
Air Date: 1/14/15
Duration: 10
Host: Holly Lucille, ND, RN
Guest Bio: Ray Doustdar, CEO Buiced INC
Ray Ray Doustdar is the CEO of BUICED Inc., and the creator of the all new BUICED Liquid Multivitamin, as well as the curator of Everyday Juicer, a website dedicated to helping people add fresh vegetable juicing to their daily lifestyle.

Through fresh vegetable juicing, Ray was able to bring down his cholesterol from 234 to 168 (down 28%) by incorporating juicing into his daily lifestyle.

During this time, he discovered that although the leafy greens are packed with phyto-nutrients, they lack many essential vitamins and minerals.

He tried taking vitamins in pill form after each juice, but they upset his stomach. Then Ray learned liquid vitamins are more readily available for easy absorption, so he decided to solve his own problem and created BUICED to "boost his juice."
Vitamin D: The Flu-Busting Nutrient
Related Article
Vitamin D is one of the most deficient nutrients in America. In fact, recent studies have shown that as much as 75 percent of the U.S. population is lacking the right amount. Having normal levels of vitamin D is critical since there are many benefits associated with it, and your body needs it to maintain a strong immune system.

The Benefits of Vitamin D
Contrary to its name, vitamin D is not really a vitamin but a steroid hormone precursor. When infections occur in your body, vitamin D helps increase production of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Typically, most of the vitamin D in your body is absorbed through the sun’s rays. To address the rising deficiency in the American population, many foods are now starting to come fortified with vitamin D.

Ray Doustdar, CEO of BUICED Inc, recognizes the importance of getting a daily dose of vitamin D. He cites a huge, double blind placebo-controlled Japanese study that was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition as an example. More than 350 children took part in the trial, and results showed that antiviral drugs reduced the risk of a flue infection by 8 percent, compared to 50 percent or greater with a dose of vitamin D. The study goes on to detail how vitamin D is most protective against influenza A, but not as protective against the less common influenza B.

Vitamin D also helps the body maximize its absorption of calcium from your intestine, building stronger bones and teeth. When combined with calcium, vitamin D also helps to prevent osteoporosis in older adults. Even with the right calcium levels, bones can become weak, brittle, and more prone to fracture if there isn’t enough vitamin D in your system.

Taking Vitamin D
Just sitting in the backyard for 10 minutes and exposing your arms and face to direct sunlight without any sunscreen will give your body the dose of vitamin D it needs, according to Doustdar. If you are unable to soak in the rays due to your job’s hours, location, or any other situation that doesn’t afford you that luxury, you will need to focus on getting vitamin D from food and supplements.

Modern medicine, Doustdar believes, is focused on treating symptoms rather than prevention. Doustdar recommends breaking away from this mindset and actively looking for ways to increase your body’s vitamin D levels. “Take vitamin D however possible,” says Doustdar. Whether it’s through diet and supplements or sunlight, getting the right amount is key.

When looking for a supplement, make sure it is vitamin D3 and not D2, since your body reacts exactly the same to D3 as it would with sunlight. Many multivitamins come with vitamin D already, or you can opt for a vitamin D specific supplement. Keep an eye on dosage levels; vitamin D3 should be around 70 to 90 nanograms per milliliter for healthy, optimal levels.

Alonso is a long-time health and wellness advocate who loves to write about it. His writing spans the scope of blogs, educational magazines, and books, both on and offline.