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Taking Vitamin D Daily Can Prevent Colds And Flu

Update Date: Feb 17, 2017 07:00 AM EST

A new study suggests Vitamin D supplements could help keep winter coughs, cold and flu away. Researchers from Queen Mary University in London said those who take vitamin D regularly can prevent acute respiratory tract infections by 12 percent, while those who took it daily cut the risk by 50 percent.

The study was published in the journal The BM and aims to help boost the nation's vitamin D intake as it introduced public health measure like food fortification. Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. It helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body and helps keep the bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

The Huffington Post reported that the Public Health England recommended taking 10 microgram of vitamin D daily as some studies showed vitamin D can trigger immune responses from bacteria and viruses. The common cold, bronchitis and pneumonia have been linked with low blood levels of vitamin D. The new study advised eating foods rich in vitamin D can greatly improve bone health and prevent respiratory infections.

Respiratory infections are major causes of global illness and death. It has led to 35,000 deaths and 300,000 hospital admissions in the UK according to The Sun.

The researchers reviewed data from 25 randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation. It involved 11,321 participant aged 0 to 95 years. Results showed 12 percent reduction in the proportion of participants experiencing at least one acute respiratory tract infection.

After further analysis, researchers found that greater benefit was in those receiving daily or weekly vitamin D without additional large doses. Study lead author, Professor Adrian Martineau said 3.25million fewer people get at least one acute respiratory infection each year, that is if everyone took a daily or weekly vitamin D supplement. Martineau added "This research has yielded the first definitive evidence that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infections."

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