The (Improved) Vitamin D Hammer: Beating the Flu in 72 Hours
Recently, when my father came down with a bad cold, we made use of the “Vitamin D Hammer” along with our secret weapon – vitamin C. The improvement was clear.
But, what is this hammer and how can you use it to get rid of influenza-like symptoms fast?
Origins of the Hammer
I first read about this “hammer” on a forum. The name sparked my curiosity and got me to investigate further.
This led me to a research paper by Doctor Gerry Schwalfenberg. (1)
As it seems, upon reviewing some of the unpleasant side effects of the drugs commonly used to treat influenza, Dr. Schwalfenberg and a colleague proceeded to consider an alternative to them: vitamin D.
And, as it turns out, the results far exceed their expectations, hence, they dubbed vitamin D as "the hammer."
How well did it work?
I've read, and written, a lot about the benefits of vitamin D, but I have to tell you, even I got surprised about they're good results.
First, just by raising the vitamin D levels of most of their patients to above 100 nmol/l – 40 ng/ml – Dr. Schwalfenberg and his colleague saw a marked decrease in the incidence of influenza.
In his own words:
“A colleague of mine and I have introduced vitamin D at doses that have achieved greater than 100 nmol/L in most of our patients for the past number of years, and we now see very few patients in our clinics with the flu or influenzalike (sic) illness.”
– Dr. Schwalfenberg
But, what about the times when high vitamin D blood levels weren’t enough to prevent someone from getting ill?
When a patient did come down with the flu, Dr. Schwalfenberg used a straightforward high-dose protocol:
A 1-time dosage of 50,000 IU followed by a course of 10,000 IU of vitamin D three times a day for 2 to 3 days.
What were the results?
“The results are dramatic, with complete resolution of symptoms in 48 to 72 hours.”
– Dr. Schwalfenberg
This is remarkable.
I’ve read countless research papers and let me tell you: learning that something caused a “complete resolution of symptoms” is rare!
So, let me ask you, the next time you begin feeling aches and chills, would you like to try this approach?
How to hammer down on the flu with vitamin D
Let’s break down the protocol.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and want to try and hammer them down before they have a chance to develop, here’s what you’ll need to do:
Start with a One-Time Dose of 50,000 IU
Upon noticing the first symptoms, make sure you take 50,000 IU of vitamin D.
Since this is a one-time dose, it isn’t expected to cause any symptoms of toxicity, far from it.
Also, to maximize your vitamin D absorption, be sure to take this first dose with a meal, like lunch or dinner.
The sooner you take your high-dose the better, so, if you are hours away from your next meal you may want to grab a snack – or two – and take your vitamin D with it.
How safe is a one-time Dose of 50,000 IU?
Researchers who analyzed the case of a man who mistakenly took 4,000,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D for an unspecified number of days concluded that: "the estimated toxic dose of vitamin D should be greater than 100,000 IU per day for, at least, one month.” (2)
If a regular healthy person can withstand a dosage of 100,000 IU of vitamin D, per day, for a full month, it stands to reason that the side-effects of a one-time dose of 50,000 IU would be negligible.
Still, given the potential effects of vitamin D over your calcium metabolism, you’d still be advised to increase your water intake during the “hammer protocol.” Better yet, be sure to take at least your vitamin B2, magnesium and vitamin K2 too.
After all, these three co-factors are essential when your goal is to increase the safety profile of vitamin D.
Take 10,000 IU of vitamin three times per day for The following 2 to 3 days
This might be different than what you’re used reading about.
After all, most high-dose vitamin D protocols call for a single dose of vitamin D once a day or even once a week.
However, keep in mind that the goal of the “hammer protocol” is not the same as with the Coimbra protocol.
With the Coimbra protocol, you take a high-dose of vitamin D tailored to your body’s resistance to vitamin D.
And, as long as you keep taking that daily dose, you’re making sure your immune system is kept in check.
With the hammer, on the other hand, your goal is to provide the biggest blow you can to the invading microbes.
With this goal in mind, it seems that the idea behind the divided doses in the days following your big dose, is that they’ll stimulate your immune system several times throughout the day.
Why would this work so well?
Why would Vitamin D help with the flu?
In February 2017, the University of Harvard published an article entitled "Study confirms vitamin D protects against colds and flu."
This study consisted of an analysis of more than 11,000 participants from 25 other studies. (3)
Why would vitamin D help you fight a respiratory infection?
When your body is invaded by a virus or a bacterium, your white soldiers work hard at producing substances specially designed to destroy those invaders.
Vitamin D stimulates your immune system to produce these very antimicrobial proteins.
That’s why Dr. Schwalfenberg saw such a marked decreased in the incidence of influenza-like symptoms in his patients.
The lesson couldn't be clearer: Get your vitamin D levels up and your chances of getting sick go down. This is true even if you are a healthy person.
For example, it has been reported that even a healthy person is twice as likely to get influenza when their vitamin D levels are low. (4)
As you can see, everyone stands to gain from striving to keep their vitamin D levels in check and, especially so, during the flu season.
Therefore, if you do get sick, it stands to reason a high dose of vitamin D will jumpstart your immune system in a safe way.
Then, by frequently supplying just enough vitamin D throughout the next 2 to 3 days, you’ll keep providing a gentle stimulus over your immune system.
The idea of using vitamin D to fight of the flu isn’t exclusive to Dr. Schwalfenberg, though.
In my book, you can learn how a renowned Portuguese professor, Dr. Manuel Pinto Coelho, recommends increasing the dose of vitamin D to 2,000 IU per kilogram (2,000 IU per 2.20 pounds) for 3 days at summer’s end to avoid the winter flu.
If you happen to weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms), this would mean taking 136,000 IU of vitamin D per day, for 3 days.
Of course, any dose above 100,000 IU would qualify as a very high-dose and shouldn’t be taken lightheartedly – in fact, I advise you against taking such dose without proper medical supervision and the accompanying lab tests – but this serves to illustrate the point: high-dose Vitamin D is highly regarded by some Doctors as a tool to help your body fight off an invading microorganism.
Similarly, Dr. Coimbra patients have reported on how they’ve been advised to double their vitamin D dosage during a flair-up.
This means that, if you were taking 40,000 IU of vitamin D every day to keep your autoimmune disorder under control, you’d take 80,000 IU for a couple of days to better deal with an impending flair-up.
With this concept of “doubling down on vitamin D for a couple of days in order to deal with a health issue", let’s take another look at the flu protocol again.
How to improve the hammer, making it better, faster and safer
How can we improve on Dr. Schwalfenberg protocol?
First, we can make it stronger.
By increasing the vitamin D dose.
But, by how much?
As we’ve seen earlier, if you’ve seldom supplemented with vitamin D, research shows that 100,000 IU per day can be safe for a period of up to 1 month – provided that (1) you are an adult with healthy kidneys (2) and bones, and (3) you are sure you don’t suffer from either hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your blood) or hypercalciuria (too much calcium in your urine).
Therefore, if you have come down with a cold or the flu, we can make an educated guess that a one-time dose up to 100,000 IU would be a safe, and extremely strong, way of fighting off any invading microorganisms before they’d take hold of your body.
In the following days, you could maintain the same principle of “doubling up” and take 20,000 IU 3 times per day, instead of just 10,000 IU.
That would amount to an extra 60,000 IU per day.
You’d then do this for 2 or 3 days – depending on whether you felt significantly better on the third day or not.
Then, you’d stop supplementing with vitamin D, giving your body enough time to recover from any possible toxicity.
On the other hand, if you suffer from an autoimmune disorder and are already undergoing a high-dose vitamin D protocol, I can't really advise you to increase your vitamin D intake as that could prove dangerous.
Please refer to the accompanying box for more information on why this would be the case.
Why you shouldn’t raise your vitamin D intake to deal with the flu when you already regularly take high doses of vitamin D
When you’ve been taking high doses of vitamin D for several months, your calcium blood levels will have the tendency to be higher than normal.
This is a given and the main danger associated with a high-dose protocol.
This means that a sudden increase in your vitamin D intake could potentially cause a calcium spike in your blood – a condition known as hypercalcemia.
Of course, you could choose to “double your dose,” as if you were dealing with a flair-up from your autoimmune condition.
But I would advise against that.
This is just my personal opinion, but I do think you should save that double dosing for when it’s really needed.
No point in risking overwhelming your kidneys just to make the flu disappear faster.
Besides, if you’ve been on a high-dose protocol for many months, I’m sure that your Doctor has already found the highest dose that your body can safely tolerate.
This means that your circulating vitamin D levels are already at their peak in what concerns their ability to stimulate your immune system to function properly.
It’s as if you already lived in a permanent state of “hammering down on the flu,” so to speak.
This means you should already expect a quick recovery; no need to risk overwhelming your system with more vitamin D.
I hope this makes sense to you.
If not, let me know in the comments.
The next step to improve the hammer is to make it safer.
As referred to above, the essential vitamin D co-factors include vitamin B2, vitamin K2, and magnesium.
Make sure to include them in your daily regimen while you are taking vitamin D.
Also, be sure to drink a lot of liquids – think 2.5 liters (85 fluid ounces), including soups and juices – and to avoid calcium-rich foods.
Safety is very important, and the ultimate safety measure is being aware of your blood and calcium urine levels.
However, since these lab results may take several days to become ready, it’s not feasible to measure them before starting the anti-flu protocol.
Instead, measure your levels after you’ve overcome the flu and stopped the (improved) hammer protocol.
Even though a single dose of 100,000 IU of vitamin D (followed by 2 to 3 days of 60,000 IU taken in divided doses) isn’t expected to harm you in any way when you are healthy, to begin with – to the contrary (!) – by measuring your calcium levels afterwards, you’ll be sure that you aren’t experiencing any form of vitamin D toxicity.
A secret weapon to beat the flu
From my own personal experience, besides vitamin D, there’s only one other supplement that I’ve consistently used against influenza-like symptoms with great success:
Liposomal vitamin C.
The smaller box contains 30 individual packets and usually lasts me a long time since I only take these the moment when the symptoms begin.
It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
What I do is I’ll try to always have at least one of these boxes available at home. When I travel, I also make sure to take them with me.
At the first sign of a cold, or flu, I’ll immediately take one or two of these vitamin C packets with water – it depends on how many I have available.
For example, when my father came down with that bad cold, I gave him 2 packets of liposomal vitamin C per day in addition to the vitamin D.
Given the potential for the flu to turn into pneumonia, I’d rather not take any chances.
I found these tiny packets to be really effective, so do my wife and my father.
You can usually feel the effect within hours as long as you take them right after the onset of the symptoms.
And that’s my secret weapon, in addition to vitamin D.
However, you should exercise caution when adding vitamin C to high-doses of vitamin D. Once again, please refer to the accompanying box for more information on why this would be the case.
If you are taking high doses of vitamin D you must be careful about any extra vitamin C supplementation
Because Vitamin C is known to break down into oxalates.
This can be a problem because of how oxalates can combine with the minerals in your kidneys to form crystals, or stones.
Now, as you know, if you are following a high-dose Vitamin D protocol, your kidneys will tend to have a higher mineral concentration than normal.
Do you see where this is going?
Of course, if you are limiting your vitamin C intake to just the 2 or 3 days required to jolt your immune system into fighting off the invading microorganisms, you'll most likely be fine.
Therefore, if you are not following a high-dose vitamin D protocol, I'd even advise you to take one of these packets every other a day, throughout the year, as a preemptive measure against respiratory tract infections.
On the other hand, if you do take high doses of vitamin D regularly, add the secret vitamin C weapon to your anti-flu arsenal only for the first 2 or 3 days of your hammer protocol.
If you are known to be at risk for kidney stones, skip the vitamin C entirely.
The Vitamin D Hammer
The Improved Hammer + The Secret Weapon