(NaturalNews) A former family practitioner in Canada says she cured herself of the H1N1 swine flu by taking supplements of vitamin D and elderberries.
Dr. Gillian Arsenault, now a public health employee, said that she had a prescription for antiviral drugs on hand when she became infected with swine flu, but never ended up having to fill it. Writing in the Medical Post, Arsenault recounts how the flu "hit like a truck," but was reduced to only a lingering cough within four days.
Arsenault has researched complementary health care extensively and began taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily in 2007. This is the amount recommended by the Canadian Cancer Society to help produce strong bones and reduce the risk of infection, cancer and other chronic diseases. Over the course of 2009, she experimented with doses between 3,000 and 5,000 IU.
"Medicine is my job and my hobby. I spend a lot of time after work looking things up," she said.
Researchers remain divided on the maximum safe daily dose of vitamin D, with estimates ranging between 2,000 and 10,000 IU. High doses can interfere with the effects of some drugs, and may produce mild or severe toxicity, with symptoms as severe as kidney failure, seizures or psychosis.
Because research has suggested that vitamin D can help prevent infection, Arsenault set out to see if it could help her recover faster. She adjusted her daily dose and paid to have her blood levels tested to make sure she remained within a safe and healthy range. She added an elderberry extract as well, based on research showing that the plant can reduce the severity of flu and speed recovery.
Many cases of swine flu are mild or moderate even without vitamin D supplementation, and Arsenault admits that her case study is not proof that the treatment works. But it is suggestive enough to merit further research into whether vitamin D can "abort the development of severe illness or enhance the benefit of antiviral treatment for those already seriously ill," she said.