Reader Input: Vitamin D dose trumps flu shot

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So … flu shots are 9 percent successful, huh (“Flu shot doing a poor job of protecting elderly,” Journal, Feb. 22)?
And they don’t even tell you that you can have your body and brain ruined by Guillain–Barré syndrome, a devastating crippling autoimmune reaction to flu shots.
John J. Cannell, M.D., like me, doesn’t work for a university, so he’s a hobby scientist in the sun-and-vitamin-D trenches who, like me, has a day job.
His day job, until his recent retirement, was working as ward psychiatrist at Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane.
Because of his scientific work, he knew that people get more emotionally volatile when they are low on vitamin D, and since he wanted a calm ward, he blood-tested them for vitamin D and supplemented them up to about 50 nanograms/milliliter (ng/ml) in their blood serum.
Then, an influenza epidemic swept through the hospital. The wards to the left and right and across the hall from Dr. Cannell’s ward were quarantined and none of Dr. Cannell’s patients/inmates came down with influenza.
So he wrote scientific papers about vitamin D and influenza with some of the other giants in vitamin D research.
In their published studies, these scientists typically recommend vitamin D blood levels of 40-60 ng/ml, and tend to suggest oral doses in the area of 2,000 IU/day.
However, if you ask them what dose they take, they are all taking 5,000 IU/day.
I take it a step further: Since it’s well-established that a person’s need for vitamin D is proportional to their weight, I suggest 400 IU/day/10 pounds body weight, which would be 4,000 IU/day for a 100 pound person.
Our government says that 4,000 IU/day is a safe dose for adults and children over 12, which would include some 70-pound kids, so my recommended dose is well within government safety guidelines.
Or you can go to a tanning salon twice a week and get exactly the blood vitamin D level that your body wants.
Either approach will give you better immunity to influenza than a flu shot.
Gordon Ainsleigh, Meadow Vista