Yesterday (16 February 2017) it was widely reported on TV, in newspapers and across the Internet that taking Vitamin D could significantly reduce the incidence of colds and flu amongst the general population. In fact, some newsrooms went as far as to report that Vitamin D should be added to foods such as cereals and bread. But is there any substance in the story?
It appears that the story is based on an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on 15 February 2017 entitled “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data”. The main objective of the review was designed to assess the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on the risk of acute respiratory tract infection. It was not a review to specifically ascertain whether or not Vitamin D should be added to everyday foods, although the analysis following the research suggests that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation was useful in preventing respiratory tract infections. The researchers also concluded that these results add to the body of evidence that fortifying widely eaten foods, such as bread and cereals, with Vitamin D would improve public health.
You can read more about the story behind the headlines on the NHS Choices website here.
Do you take Vitamin D supplements either purchasing over-the-counter or prescribed by your GP? Do you think taking them has helped to keep you cold and flu-free? We’d love you to tell us in the comments box below.