Researchers at the University of Tampere in Finland indicated that Vitamin D may actually help fight off colds and the flu. Their finding may also provide some evidence on how the said nutrient may also help guard against respiratory infections. Men given a daily supplement of vitamin D over a six month period were more likely to take no sick days than those who were being given placebos.
The said study involved 164 male military recruits who were divided into two groups. One group were made to take 400IU of vitamin D daily while the other group was given a placebo daily. The study was done between October and March, the peak season for cold and flu and the time of the season when lack of sunshine results in a dip of vitamin D levels in people.
Findings of the study showed that 51 percent of the 164 male military recruits stayed healthy as opposed to just 36 percent in the controlled group. The recruits who took vitamin D supplements went out sick for an average of two days compared to three days for those who took a placebo. Although the difference in the findings showed was not that significant statistically, it does show that vitamin D does provide a benefit in protecting against flu and cold by boosting the body’s immune system against pathogens.
The researchers suggest that more clinical trials should be conducted in order to conclusively determine the effect of vitamin D in protecting against cold and flu.