Vitamin D supplements have helped more than 3 million people protect themselves against cold and flu, claim researchers.
A new study states that not only does vitamin D provide benefits to bone and improves the health of the muscles, it also plays a significant role in enhancing one's health.
According to the research conducted by the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the consumption of vitamin D supplements can aid in safeguarding an individual against severe respiratory infections, which include flu and the common cold.
The Study's Findings
The study analyzed data from 11,000 people who participated in 25 clinical trials, which were held in 14 countries. The countries included the UK, Japan, U.S., India and Italy to name a few.
After studying the infections in the respiratory tract, the researchers observed that an illness can range from the sniffle to flu and ultimately lead to pneumonia.
The results show that if 33 people are taking the supplements of vitamin D one person is free from infection. The result inferred that the effect of vitamin D is far more influential than vaccines.
However, the trials had contradictory results as some people reported that they were safeguarded from flu and cold infections because of vitamin D, whereas others did not experience any such effect.
"The bottom line is that the protective effects of vitamin D supplementation are strongest in those who have the lowest vitamin D levels, and when supplementation is given daily or weekly rather than in more widely spaced doses," noted the researchers.
Why Vitamin D Is Essential
The major function of vitamin D is to regulate the balance of calcium and phosphate. These two compounds are very much necessary for the maintenance and growth of bones, muscles and teeth.
A low level of vitamin D in the human body result in the softening of bones, which leads to Rickets, especially in children. In adults the low level of vitamin D increases the chances of bladder cancer.
Vitamin D, also known as the "sunshine vitamin," boosts the antimicrobial peptide levels in the lungs and, therefore, minimizes the chances of infection in the trachea.
The study revealed that the intake of daily or weekly supplements of vitamin D reduced the infection rate by 50 percent in people with low vitamin D levels. Its intake was instrumental in reducing the infection rate by 10 percent in people with higher vitamin D baselines.
The study has been published in the BMJ.