Supplying a vitamin D could prevent over three million cold and flu episodes a year in the UK, it founds a breakthrough study published in the British Medical Journal.
We already know that the nutrient, also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin‘, is vital for bone health and to fight against a low mood, but the latest research highlights its key value for our immune system.
The scientists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) discovered that a range of respiratory diseases – ranging from a slight cold to pneumonia – could be prevented by taking pills daily or weekly (which was found to be more effective than a monthly ‘super-dose).
Dr Emma Derbyshire, from the Health Supplements Information Service says: ‘The findings from the BMJ study are very interesting and not that surprising. An increasing number of studies have been findings links between vitamin D status and lung health, particularly in patients with conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary lung disease, or cystic fibrosis.’
‘Having bronchiectasis (a rare lung condition) myself and being prone to lung infections I have looked into the body of science with interest and vitamin D is the key nutrient that stands out.’
‘This new paper is a meta-analysis of 25 randomised controlled trials – so an insightful study that adds to the body of evidence indicating that vitamin D supplements may also help to stave off lung infections in adults that are vitamin D deficient.’
Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Health Supplements Information Service, adds: ‘Vitamin D deficiency is a major health issue in the UK that should not be underestimated given the vital role of vitamin D in supporting normal bone development and maintenance as well as effects on immune function and heart health.’