Recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that Japanese children who received a daily dose of vitamin D3 three were 58% less likely to come down with influenza A, the most common type of seasonal flu. There was also a significant decrease in asthma attacks in children with a history of asthma. However, there was no proof that vitamin D3 supplementation prevented influenza type B.
The double – blind placebo experiment was conducted from December 2008 through March 2009. One group of 67 children received a daily placebo, while another group with an equal number of children received 1,200 IU’s of D3. There were 31 cases of influenza in the control group compared to 18 in the vitamin D group. Asthma occurred in only 2 children taking the vitamin D compared to 12 children receiving the placebo.
Researchers are continuing to see major health benefits from vitamin D, but stress that it is important to distinguish between vitamin D3 and D2. D3 (cholecalciferol) is naturally occurring in foods and is easily absorbed by the body, while D2 (ergocalciferol) is found in fortified foods but is less potent.
Source: Reuters Health, March 19, 2010. www.reuters.com
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