How Vitamin D Can Help During Cold And Flu Season

During cold and flu season, a small sniffle can have you stocking up on tissues, vitamins, hand sanitizer, and other essentials necessary for battling the germs. Every year you may find yourself trying a new vitamin or herb that promises to shorten the duration of a cold, or protect you from catching one, and while some have shown positive health benefits, there is one supplement in particular you should consider adding to your arsenal. 

For years, studies have suggested that the sunshine vitamin, while important for healthy bones, is also relevant for fighting viruses, according to The Guardian. Supporting those claims is a 2017 significant global study by Queen Mary University of London, which reports promising evidence that supplementing with vitamin D can protect against viruses like the common cold and flu, including respiratory infections. The study included approximately 11,000 participants from 14 countries, ranging in ages from birth to 95 years, and the results determined that vitamin D supplementation is safe and effective, especially in those already deficient.

How do I know if I need more vitamin D

According to Healthline, as of 2011 almost 42 percent of Americans were deficient in vitamin D. But how do you know if you're among the deficient? Some tell-tale symptoms can point to possible low levels, but you can only be sure if you get tested by a doctor. If you find yourself constantly getting sick or often fatigued, you may need more vitamin D, as studies show that healthy levels assist in keeping the immune system strong (per Healthline). Muscle and bone pain, depression, and hair loss are other vitamin D deficiency symptoms to watch out for, and a combination of such symptoms should definitely have you making an appointment with your doctor.

Though research shows the promising preventative effects of vitamin D, especially in these turbulent times, don't give up on your exercise and hand washing. Every measure taken to stay healthy is beneficial, especially during high-risk seasons because, let's face it, who has time for a ten day cold?