Vitamin D Newsletter


Vitamin D studies of interest

This month I will try a different format for the newsletter, the references are linked to the headline. Most of the studies or articles reviewed below are brand new, published this month or last, a few are older.

For whatever reason, the national press has reduced reporting on new Vitamin D studies, so I will try to cover a few of the more remarkable papers published in the last six weeks.

Vitamin D and H1N1 Swine Flu

So far, Swine flu, H1N1, has killed thirty-six children in U.S. and analysis of CDC data indicates Vitamin D deficient children at higher risk of death

I'm not sure I can do this, watch our children die this winter from what may be a preventable disease, influenza, I'm not sure I'm strong enough. A few minutes ago, the CDC issued a report on Swine flu deaths among children; 36 U.S. children dead so far this season and the season hasn't started yet. The dead children were much more likely to be Vitamin D deficient; but the CDC did not realize they discovered this. However, anyone familiar with the Vitamin D literature will recognize it.

The clue: almost two-thirds of our dead children had epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or other neurodevelopmental conditions like mental retardation. What do we know of these neurological conditions? All are associated with childhood Vitamin D deficiency; I won't bore you with the references but anyone who has ever cared for these children knows it; anyone who has studied these diseases on Medline knows it; anyone who has one of these kids knows it; these kids just don't go in the sun very much. If they do live at home and go outside, parents use sunblock because the child is so vulnerable, never robust. In addition to sunlight deprivation, many of these kids take anticonvulsant drugs, which lower Vitamin D levels.

One more thing, 36 dead kids before the flu season has even started alarms me. In the last 4 years, around 100 kids died per year from influenza; this year the toll is 36 and the flu season has not yet begun.

Swine Flu Sends More Blacks, Hispanics to Hospital

The above racial differences apply to hospitalization rates for H1N1 in Boston and Chicago. It looks as if Vitamin D is a big factor in H1N1. During the 1918–1919 pandemic, Blacks actually had lower illness rates, not higher, perhaps because they had antibodies from previous H1N1 infection in 1916 and 1917. It worried me to read that the 1918 H1N1 was circulating in the world for several years before it devastated that same world in 1918–1919. The same could be true now, that is, this H1N1 may be relatively benign (only kill 50,000 Americans/year) for several years, infect more Blacks than whites, then erupt into a merciless killer in 2011, when Blacks will be relatively protected because of their higher antibodies from higher infection rates in 2009 and 2010.

Page last edited: 08 November 2010