Vitamin D shown to help prevent colds and flu

No matter the season, month or even location, there’s nothing you can do to prevent being struck down with a bout of the flu.

The constant sneezing for no apparent reason… A runny nose that doesn’t stop, no matter how many tissues you get through… Painfully tight sinuses and constant headaches.

Well, respite from these horrible symptoms may just come from an unlikely source.

The British Medical Journal recently published a study in which vitamin D was able to reduce the chance of developing an acute respiratory tract infection (colds and flu, to you and me) by 12 per cent.

The team of researchers examined the data of 25 randomised controlled trials, involving 11,321 study participants of all ages.

For those examined, all those supplementing with vitamin D had a reduced risk of acute respiratory tract infection.

Unsurprisingly, in individuals with low levels of vitamin D, typically less than 25 nmol/L, vitamin D had the greatest preventative effects.

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is known to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, supporting our bones, teeth and muscles.

Now you can add helping to prevent colds and flu to that list.

But a strange conclusion from the researchers was the suggestion that vitamin D should be added into common foodstuffs. They commented, “Our results add to the body of evidence supporting the introduction of public health measures such as food fortification to improve vitamin D status, particularly in settings where profound vitamin D deficiency is common.”

Although a nice idea in theory, this would be a legislative nightmare to implement, but we can hope! (Especially in the UK where the sun isn’t really on its A-game…)

But in the meantime, make sure you do make the most of the sun when it is out – but be careful not to get burnt. Discuss with your doctor about supplementing with a quality vitamin D supplement too, to further boost your levels of this powerful vitamin.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dominic Rees
Editorial Health Researcher