Vitamin D for Cold Prevention

February 24/Pharma Marketletter -- Vitamin D may be an important tool to arm the immune system against disorders like the common cold, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Participants were interviewed regarding their health and nutrition, and most also received a physical examination that included collection of blood and other samples for laboratory testing. The research team analyzed blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D from almost 19,000 adult and adolescent participants.

Those with the lowest vitamin D blood levels (less than 10ng/ml of blood) were about 40% more likely to report having a recent respiratory infection than those with vitamin D levels of 30 or higher. The association was present in all seasons and even stronger among participants with a history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema. Asthma patients with the lowest vitamin D levels were five times more likely to have had a recent respiratory infection, while among COPD patients, respiratory infections were twice as common among those with vitamin D deficiency.  

From the February 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition