Vitamin D Shines Brightly
Vitamin D lowers risk of flu and asthma: Report
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published the results of a randomized trial of vitamin D supplements as prevention of seasonal influenza in school children. The results were impressive. School children taking 1200 iu of vitamin D a day had a 42% lower risk of catching the flu than kids taking placebo.
From December 2008 through March 2009 Japanese researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing vitamin D-3 supplements with placebo in schoolchildren. They tracked how many of the children caught the flu or had asthma attacks. A total of 18 of 167 (10.8%) children taking vitamin D caught the flu compared with 31 of 167 (18.6%) children in the placebo group.
The study also assessed asthma and vitamin D and this seems to be the most impressive aspect. Of the children in the study who had previously been diagnosed with asthma, asthma attacks almost disappeared with vitamin D use - only 2 children receiving vitamin D-3 had asthma attacks compared with 12 children receiving placebo.
The results of this study suggest vitamin D supplements may cut flu infections by more than a third, and asthma attacks possibly by a factor of 6. This is enough to suggest that if your child has asthma or if you want to prevent the flu with them, they should be taking vitamin D-3.
References: Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, et al. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiology and Infection, Dec. 2006;134(6):1129-40. 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 Mar 10.