You’ve always heard that the best way to prevent catching a cold and other winter ailments was to take a steady daily dose of vitamin c. We hate to disappoint you but a new study shows that a totally different vitamin is responsible for fighting off ailments: Vitamin D!
The study was based on the analyzing of information gathered from 11,000 people who participated in clinical trials in 14 different countries around the world. The head researcher who organized the project Professor Adrian Martino from Queen Mary’s University in London says:
“This joint research effort gives us first proof that vitamin d protects against infections in the respiratory tract… The lower a person’s level of this vitamin exists in a person’s system the stronger the positive effects of the vitamin will be when he does take it. For the most benefit one should be careful to take vitamin d daily.” Researchers found that the influence of the vitamin is strong enough to even prevent asthma attacks.
The lack of Vitamin D is considered an international epidemic. Even so, until now the benefits of the vitamin were associated with bone and muscle health. Now it seems that it is vital for the function of the immune system. It seems to protect against infections of the respiratory tract by raising the level of peptides (a natural substance similar to anti-biotics) inside the lungs. The results of the research also explain why colds and respiratory tract infections are more prevalent in the winter when most people receive far less vitamin d due to les exposure to the sun.
The researchers concluded that the lowered risk of respiratory tract infections due to taking vitamin d are equal to the protective effect of a flu shot.
Colds and respiratory tract infections are the most common reason for doctor’s visits and missing work. Considering the fact the vitamin d supplements are readily available and inexpensive, the researchers say that it definitely pays for public health systems to promote the use of vitamin d supplements in the winter months when people are more prone to these ailments.