In Canada, we take our vitamin D seriously, especially at this time of year when its natural source, the sun, is hiding behind winter’s great grey blanket. It helps us combat Seasonal Affective Disorder and keeps our bones as well as our muscles healthy. And now, it seems there’s another reason to make popping one of these pills part of your daily routine.
According to new research published in the British Medical Journal, taking vitamin D supplements could help reduce the chance of getting the flu or any “acute respiratory tract infection,” including a cold.
Nobody likes a cold.
The science broke down data from over 11,000 people in 25 different trials, and extrapolated the findings to conclude that the supplements could lower the amount of people that develop a cold or flu each year by 12 per cent. These findings are substantial, especially because many are not getting the recommended 10 mg of the sunshine vitamin each day.
The research supports a similar 2010 study that ran in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found that the supplement helped lower the rates of influenza among school children.
Vitamin D is made naturally within the skin when in contact with sunlight. So, if you think about it, it makes sense that Vitamin D is involved in staving off the flu — we tend to get sick in winter and spring, when we’re getting less sun on our skin.
So, until that sun comes out — or another study telling us it’s a bad idea — we’re going to up our intake just a touch, and hopefully be a little healthier because of it.