With a huge variety of vitamin supplements available, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth buying. But according to new researched published in the British Medical Journal, vitamin D (the vitamin that's known to help to boost bone strength) might be a better bet than most.
Our immune systems use vitamin D to "make antimicrobial weapons that puncture holes in bacteria and viruses," according to the BBC. But, because our bodies use sunlight to create at least some of our daily dose of vitamin D, many people have lower levels of the vitamin during winter — aka cold and flu season. This February 2017 review of studies suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement could be linked to a lower risk of catching colds or the flu.
To conduct the review, Queen Mary University of London researchers analyzed data from more than 11,000 people who had participated in one of 25 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of vitamin D supplements. They discovered that participants who received regular vitamin D supplements (either daily or weekly) were less likely to come down with respiratory infections — especially if they had previously had a significant vitamin D deficiency.
With all of this said, it's important to note that the available data on infections is not conclusive, according to Public Health England. The agency does recommend supplements for improved bone and muscle health, but more research needs to be conducted on the link between vitamin D and decreased risk for colds or flu.