Credit: © ladysuzi / Fotolia

Credit: © ladysuzi / Fotolia

Do you want to avoid colds and flu? You may need more of this vitamin

Do you want to avoid colds and flu? You may need more of this vitamin: Vitamin D.

According to new research from Queen Mary University of London, vitamin D may protect against acute respiratory infections including colds and flu.

This is one of the most powerful studies to show that vitamin D’s benefits go beyond just bone health and muscle function. The study could change how health officials view vitamin D.

The study included over 11,000 participants in 25 clinical trials conducted worldwide.

Lead researcher Professor Adrian Martineau from QMUL said:

This major collaborative research effort has yielded the first definitive evidence that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infections. Our analysis of pooled raw data from each of the 10,933 trial participants allowed us to address the thorny question of why vitamin D ‘worked’ in some trials, but not in others.

The bottom line is that the protective effects of vitamin D supplementation are strongest in those who have the lowest vitamin D levels, and when supplementation is given daily or weekly rather than in more widely spaced doses.

“Vitamin D fortification of foods provides a steady, low-level intake of vitamin D that has virtually eliminated profound vitamin D deficiency in several countries. By demonstrating this new benefit of vitamin D, our study strengthens the case for introducing food fortification to improve vitamin D levels in countries such as the UK where profound vitamin D deficiency is common.”

In the study, daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation cut the risk of infection including colds and flu in half.

Professor Hywel Williams, director of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme said: “The interesting findings of this large study are worthy of serious further debate. This study is yet another example of how the NIHR HTA Programme reaches the parts that other research funders may not tackle.”

To get your daily dose of vitamin D it is recommended to do the following:

‣ Eat Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
‣ Take Vitamin D supplements as directed by a doctor
‣ Get daily exposure to sun (about 10 minutes). Do not forget to wear a sunscreen.

Note: Make sure you get your vitamin D supplements from a reputable source.

The study was published in the BMJ.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Vitamin D Protects against Colds and Flu, Finds Major Global Study.” Queen Mary University of London. Queen Mary University of London, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.
2. “Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Acute Respiratory Tract Infections: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Individual Participant Data.” BMJ. British Medical Journal Publishing Group, 15 Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.

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