Should I take Vitamin D over winter?
It's cold out there and finally, the cold and flu season has well and truly arrived in Wellington. I thought it would be a timely reminder about Vitamin D and how useful it can be in keeping us well over the winter months
Produced by the body on exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D has been shown to help boost our immune system, aid in auto-immune diseases, help with depression, reduce our risk of developing diabetes, is well known for preserving bone health and having anti-cancer properties.
Unfortunately, though, we don’t get to spend as much time in the sun as we should and when we do, the old message ‘slip, slop, slap’ prevents the sun’s rays from hitting our delicate skins. This makes supplementation so much more important especially, in winter.
A study on the effect of Vitamin D supplementation on the incidence of seasonal influenza showed that children who took regular Vitamin D had a 42% reduction in influenza compared with a placebo group. The doses used were 1200 i.u. per day.
Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of Vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr 2010 May;91 (5): 1255-1260