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Meta-analysis concludes protective effect for vitamin D supplements against colds, flu

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

February 17 2017. The authors of a meta-analysis published on February 17, 2017 in the BMJ affirmed that, despite some previous conflicting study conclusions, supplementing with vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of influenza and colds. “This major collaborative research effort has yielded the first definitive evidence that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infections,” announced first author Adrian Martineau of Queen Mary University of London. “Our analysis of pooled raw data from each of the 10,933 trial participants allowed us to address the thorny question of why vitamin D ‘worked’ in some trials, but not in others.

The meta-analysis included 25 randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trials that evaluated the effects of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 supplementation on the risk of developing a cold or flu. The reduction in risk of acute respiratory infection associated with vitamin D was comparable to that of an influenza vaccine against flu risk. “The protective effects of vitamin D supplementation are strongest in those who have the lowest vitamin D levels, and when supplementation is given daily or weekly rather than in more widely spaced doses,” Dr Martineau reported.

“Vitamin D fortification of foods provides a steady, low-level intake of vitamin D that has virtually eliminated profound vitamin D deficiency in several countries,” he added. “By demonstrating this new benefit of vitamin D, our study strengthens the case for introducing food fortification to improve vitamin D levels in countries such as the UK where profound vitamin D deficiency is common.”

“Most people understand that vitamin D is critical for bone and muscle health,” stated senior author Carlos Camargo, MD, DrPH. “Our analysis has also found that it helps the body fight acute respiratory infection, which is responsible for millions of deaths globally each year.”

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One thought on “Meta-analysis concludes protective effect for vitamin D supplements against colds, flu”

  1. Marc73 says:

    There is no doubt that vitamin D lessens the risk of respiratory illness, as Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council has been proving for years. Nevertheless, the natural source of vitamin D, sun exposure, may be even more important. If you observe the different countries or areas of the world and assess the risk of respiratory illness, you will note that those illness virtually disappear during the summer. Yet, sun exposure does so much more than just stimulate vitamin D production by the skin, and the health benefits go far beyond vitamin D. Here are a few scientifically-documented facts regarding the healthful effects of sun exposure:
    •A 20-year Swedish study shows that sun avoidance is as bad for the health as cigarette smoking.
    •A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
    •Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
    •Women who totally avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
    •Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
    •Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart attack risk.
    •Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential to human survival, and sun exposure is the only natural way to obtain it. Sunbathing can produce 20,000 units of vitamin D in 20 minutes of whole-body exposure.
    •Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
    •Beyond vitamin D, sun exposure also stimulates the production of endorphin, nitric oxide and BDNF, all of which are vital to human health.
    •Regular sun exposure also reduces high blood pressure, heart disease, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis (MS).
    •As sunscreen use has increased dramatically, melanoma has INCREASED exponentially.
    For the scientific references and articles for the above statements, visit http://sunlightinstitute.org/

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