According to studies by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Vitamin D can significantly reduce the risk of colds, flu and other dangerous infections such as pneumonia.
Warnings from the government advisory committee on nutrition have said the UK population have low levels of the “Sunshine vitamin” and have advised food fortification as a possible solution. Studies from BMJ are in favour of fortification, “the results are likely to change the cost/benefit analysis significantly,” Adrian Martineau Clinical Professor of Respiratory Infection and Immunity at Queen Mary University of London.
A number of studies have been undertaken to discover the link between increase of colds and flu in the winter and lack of sunlight producing vitamin D in the body but none have been conclusive. The team from Queen Mary reanalysed raw data from 25 clinical trials, which involved 11,000 patients from 14 countries and found that previous studies stated no benefit from vitamin D as they usually had given participants a one off dose of vitamin D rather than regular supplements. Martineau and his team learnt from their results that everybody who takes vitamin D daily or weekly showed a significant benefit especially to those who already had low levels of vitamin in their body.
The rate of respiratory infections which include flu, bronchitis could be halved if people with the lowest level of vitamin D took regular supplements. Researchers at Queen Mary calculated that either daily or weekly vitamin D supplements would mean 3.25 million fewer people having at least one respiratory infection.