Vitamin D and prevention of Cold and Flu
Vitamin D preventing against colds and flu?
According to a new study carried out by Queen Mary University of London has found that not only is Vitamin D vital for bone and muscle health, the intake of Vitamin D aids against acute respiratory infections including bronchitis, pneumonia asthma attacks and cold & flu. The study examined 11,000 people in clinical trials throughout 14 countries such as The US, The UK and Australia. The study concluded with some conflicting results as the Vitamin D supplements worked in some but not in others. The strongest protective effects were in those who had the lowest levels of Vitamin D.
The recommended Amount
Where can you get Vitamin D?
The body naturally produces Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. For the recommended amount of Vitamin D, the bare skin has to be exposed to the sun for roughly at least 20 minutes. It can also be found naturally in foods such as oily fish and eggs and in fortified in foods such as cereals.
Vitamin D in Ireland
Colds and Flu are most common in winter and spring when levels of Vitamin D are at their lowest and because of our northern latitude there is not enough sunlight between November and March to produce the recommended amount of Vitamin D in Ireland. Unfortunately our diet habits inhibit us to receive enough Vitamin D through food therefore supplements are recommended.
Who is at risk?
Young children under 5 years of age.
Pregnant or breast feeding women require Vitamin D for growth.
People with very little exposure to sunlight.
People with dark(er) skin are at risk as they have more difficulty in absorbing Vitamin D than light skinned people.
Those with some chronic illness such as Crohns Disease would have more difficulty absorbing Vitamin D.
Elderly people have thinner skin and thus are less capable of producing Vitamin D.
Vegans (diet without fish, eggs etc.)
Difficulty standing, climbing stairs.
Bone pains in ribs, feet, hips, thighs and pelvis.
Table of daily amounts of Vitamin D
For more information on Vitamin D visit: http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/V/Vitamins,-minerals-and-supplements/VitaminD.html