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Vitamin D could help to combat flu misery

If you can't get a dose of sunshine then a daily vitamin D supplement could help ward off colds during winter, a new study shows.

Researchers have been interested in whether the vitamin might play a role in people's susceptibility to colds, flu and other respiratory infections as these illnesses rise during winter when people get little exposure to sunlight.

The body naturally synthesizes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight.


Researcher Dr Ilkka Laaksi of the University of Tampere in Finland said some past studies found people with relatively lower vitamin D levels in their blood tended to have higher rates of respiratory infections than those with higher levels of the vitamin.

Dr Laaksi said along with that evidence, recent lab research had shown that vitamin D may play an important role in the body's immune defences against respiratory pathogens.

However he said the extent of the benefit was not clear.