A newly released research study suggests that incorporating vitamin D in your diet may reduce any likelihood of colds and flus in the UK each year.
The study published on Wednesday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) argues that foods should be provided with this vitamin as a protection against attacks.
Adding that vitamin D supplements could reduce the effect of any respiratory tract infections.
Previously the immune system was known to utilize vitamin D as ammunition that attacked viruses and bacteria in a manner that “poked holes” in fighting efforts.
One report published by NHS UK says that cows’ milk in the UK, amongst many other countries, is generally not a good source of vitamin D due to the unfortified nature of the dairy.
According to NHS UK, vitamin D has been proven to help regulate the calcium and phosphate levels in the body, which keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
The study by the BMJ suggests that it may help residents of cold countries due to the reasoning that vitamin D is mostly absorbed by the skin while out in the sun and less during the winter seasons.
However, the nutrient can be found in smaller dosages in a number of common foods, such as: oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fat spreads and some cereals.
But when taking such a vitamin, there must be a balance – too much vitamin D in ones diet can lead to high levels of calcium, which can eventually cause heart and kidney problems.
To test whether or not adding a vitamin supplement directly in your food, trials and testing has been done to establish a link – researchers have gathered data acquired from 11,321 people from 25 different trials in order to do so, according to the BBC.
The results found that one person would develop immunity to the common cold for every 33 people consuming the vitamin as part of their diet – contrary to vaccine shots that find one person immune to the flu to every 40 people.
Aisha Buhari, a student at the American University in Dubai, said: “I think that if they added vitamin D into some foods, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.”
Adding, “Because you would be spending less on vitamin supplements and the probability of you catching a flu would be less.”
Prof Adrian Martineau, one of the BMJ researchers, told the BBC, “Assuming a UK population of 65 million, and that 70% have at least one acute respiratory infection each year, then daily or weekly vitamin D supplements will mean 3.25 million fewer people would get at least one acute respiratory infection a year.”
However, not everyone thinks incorporating vitamin D into foods is a good idea, “I don’t think they should fortify foods with Vitamin D, although it may be harmless, anything could happen to the consumer as a reaction,” said Zeinab Dakik, another student at AUD.