Dennis was only 52 when he came down with what he thought was a severe bout of the flu. Two weeks later, I was at his funeral wondering what happened. The flu isn’t supposed to threaten the life of someone so strong and vibrant. Well, it turns out Dennis never had the flu. He had a heart attack. And his symptoms mimicked those of the flu virus.
Dennis suffered from nausea, fever, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea. Nothing out of the ordinary for the flu — except the symptoms were worse than what the flu usually brought on. The truth is, during the winter months, it’s easy for heart attack victims to confuse their symptoms as the flu.
If you have these types of symptoms in the warmer months, you might think something is wrong and head to the doctor. But when they hit in the middle of flu season, it’s not surprising. So you wait it out. Unfortunately, that could be a fatal decision. And it could be why fatal heart attacks spike in the winter months — people think they have the flu.
Fortunately, there’s one mineral that can help you avoid both the flu and a heart attack. You may have heard that vitamin D is one of the best nutrients available for preventing the flu. My brother works in an office with a dozen other people. Last year, every single person in his office came down with the flu, but he managed to avoid it completely. How? By taking vitamin D.
Now a new study out of Utah’s Intermountain Medical Center says this inexpensive nutrient works wonders for your heart. A team of researchers from the Center followed 27,686 patients for a year. They were all over 50 years of age. And none of them had any history of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers tested the participants’ blood vitamin D levels and then divided them into three groups based on their vitamin D levels. One group had normal levels (over 30 nanograms per milliliter). The second group had low levels (15-30 ng/ml). And the third group had very low levels (less than 15 ng/ml). The researchers then followed the patients to see if they developed heart disease. What they found was astounding.
The researchers found that the patients with very low levels of vitamin D were 77% more likely to die from a heart attack. But that’s not all. They were 45% more likely to develop coronary artery disease. And get this — they had a 78% higher risk of having a stroke than patients with normal levels.
Even those patients who had very low levels were at risk. They were “twice as likely to develop heart failure than those with normal vitamin D levels,” said the researchers.
Unfortunately, this study didn’t compare low levels to optimal levels. You see, “normal” levels of vitamin D are not healthy levels. Normal levels are in the 30 nanograms level. But optimal levels are more in the 70-80 nanograms level. So you can reduce your risk even further by getting your blood levels up to this area.
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU daily. You’ll never achieve optimal levels with that paltry dose. To really fight the flu and heart attacks, you have to take a minimum of 5,000 IU daily. That’s how much my brother and I take. And it works.
You can order a high-quality vitamin D3 by following this link.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.