We associate catching a cold with dreary winter weather. So maybe it’s appropriate then that the sunshine vitamin – vitamin D – could be the savior.
According to the largest study to date that has taken a look at the link between vitamin D and its power against colds, at least 50 percent of the subjects involved had insufficient levels.
In the study, Dr. Adit Ginde of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston found that people who had low blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to report having had a cold than those with higher amounts. To compound the problem, the risk of a recent cold or other respiratory infection seemed to rise as vitamin D levels dropped.
The link between vitamin D and respiratory infections was found to be even stronger in people with asthma, who had about six times a greater risk of colds with low vitamin D. Those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had a 2-3 times greater risk.
So, where can you get vitamin D? Eat more dairy, fish (salmon and tuna), fortified cereals, and orange juice. You may consider supplements as well, but consult your doctor first. You can also get moderate amount of sun exposure, which is why vitamin D is referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Just be sure to apply an ample amount of sunscreen.
February 27th, 2009