Maybe the high doses of vitamin D that he had been prescribing to virtually all the men on his ward had boosted their natural arsenal of the antimicrobial, called cathelicidin, and protected them from flu. Cannell had been administering the vitamin D because his patients, like many other people in the industrial world, had shown a deficiency
Here's another quote from that article:
On the basis of more than 100 articles that he collected, Cannell and seven other researchers now propose that vitamin D deficiency may underlie a vulnerability to infections by the microbes that cathelicidin targets. These include bacteria, viruses, and fungi, the group notes in a report available online for an upcoming Epidemiology and Infection.
"We're now planning to do a clinical trial and treat African Americans who are deficient with vitamin D to correct their serum levels [of the prehormone] and see if this will change their antimicrobial response," Modlin says.
Cannell's group cites a 1997 study showing that the rate of pneumonia in Ethiopian children with rickets, and therefore a likely vitamin D deficiency, was 13 times as high as in children without that disease.
Again, you present a paper that basically argues over and over that correcting a vitamin D deficiency
helps prevent infection. Yeah, of course it does. Again, that's not disputed. However, you personally go way beyond this, TMV, to make statements that even those without
such a deficiency should be taking vitamin D. Again, where's the evidence for that? Not in this paper.
Scientists have already planned a handful of clinical trials to evaluate the antimicrobial benefits of vitamin D supplementation.
...Stahle is now beginning a trial of people with skin infections...
...Gallo is also planning a new trial. His group will compare the effectiveness of supplemental vitamin D in elevating cathelicidin concentrations when administered as oral supplements or as a skin treatment...
Interesting that this article directly contradicts a statement you made earlier. You've previously claimed that vitamin D research was being ignored, though you provided no evidence in support of the claim. Clearly, vitamin D's role in infection is NOT being ignored by researchers, as the above quotes confirm.
Zasloff argues that if studies support the hypothesis, "we can imagine one day treating infections not by giving somebody a drug, but by giving them safe and simple substances--like a vitamin."
Hopefully, the hypothesis will be supported by the clinical studies underway. However, Zasloff clearly understands that those studies need to be conducted BEFORE making sweeping recommendations about using vitamin D.
"There are many microbes out there that rarely-to-never cause disease in immunocompetent individuals. It's not because the microbes don't choose to infect us," he[Gallo] notes. "It's because the body's immune defense against the microbes is sufficient to control their proliferation.
It's possible, he says, that a shortfall in vitamin D might seriously compromise that defense."
I'm totally with Gallo on this. It seems very likely it's true that deficient patients are more at risk of infection. It does not, however, follow that supplementation with extra vitamin D in an immunocompetent person without a vitamin D deficiency will be of benefit. That's where the evidence is lacking.
Until such lab animals are available, vitamin D's impact--even on flu risk--"should be explored in clinical trials," Zasloff says, because the treatment poses little risk to people.
Again, I agree with this. We should pursue clinical trials to explore to what degree vitamin D supplementation in deficient patients and normal, non-deficient patients helps with regard to preventing or ameliorating flu. We should explore what forms of vitamin D are effective. We should delineate dose-response curves and patients who especially benefit. However, doing this research is definitely not the same as making blanket recommendations that everyone should be taking OTC vitamin D supplements. Those kinds of recommendations should not be made until after these research findings are in.
I'm a vitamin D fan, but also a vaccine fan. I'm doing both!
But I'm not following, when you said it was inappropriate to suggest that everyone be tested for vitamin d deficiency. How can testing for deficiency be a bad idea?
I'm not saying that testing is necessarily bad, Lynn, just that it isn't always appropriate. Take for instance older women with osteoporosis. Do we need to test them, or can we start vitamin D supplementation without a vitamin D level, knowing that most such patients are deficient? Some testing is unnecessary and a waste of money for the patient. Other times, the patient will not be treated with vitamin D regardless of what their test shows, because vitamin D supplementation might be contraindicated for other medical reasons (for instance in those who become hypercalcemic with administration of vitamin D). Hope that clarifies.