Posted on Apr 16, 2010, 6 a.m.
School children who took Vitamin D supplements had a reduced incidence of contracting seasonal influenza.
In that a growing body of evidence supports a link between Vitamin D and optimal immune health, Mitsuyoshi Urashima, from Jikei University School of Medicine (Japan), and colleagues enrolled 334 schoolchildren, one group of whom received daily supplements of vitamin D3 (1200 IUs) with the other group receiving placebo. During the course of four months (December 2008 until March 2009), the incidence of seasonal influenza was 11% in the Vitamin D supplemented group, as compared to 19% in the placebo group. Further, the benefits of vitamin D supplementation were more pronounced in those with low levels of vitamin D at the start of the study, with a 74% reduction in the incidence of flu observed. The team concludes that: “This study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren.”
Mitsuyoshi Urashima, Takaaki Segawa, Minoru Okazaki, Mana Kurihara, Yasuyuki Wada, Hiroyuki Ida. “Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.” Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Mar 10, 2010; doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094.