These fresh mornings make it tempting to stay snuggled up inside, but there are increasing benefits of getting out and making the most of the Spring sunshine.
According to a study led by Queen Mary University of London, vitamin D supplements can protect against acute respiratory infections, including colds and flu. The results, published in The BMJ, are based on a new analysis of raw data from around 11,000 participants in 25 clinical trials conducted in 14 countries.
Vitamin D is thought to protect against respiratory infections by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides in the lungs. The researchers found that the reduction in risk of acute respirator infection with vitamin D supplementation was similar to the protective effect of injectable flu vaccine against flu-like illnesses.
The sun is the best natural source of vitamin D and daily exercise also assists with the body’s production of the vitamin. There are small amounts of vitamin D in some foods such as fish and eggs, but it is difficult to obtain enough of this nutrient from diet alone.