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Vitamin D3 and the Flu


I continue to find evidence of the importance of the use of vitamin D3 supplementation in the pediatric population. I recently came across this article in the reputable American Journal of Clinical nutrition showing a possible reduction in influenza A in School children supplemented with vitamin D3. If you haven’t begun supplementation of your child’s diet with Vitamin D3 yet, now would be a good time to discuss this with your pediatrician. Vitamin D3 gets my vote. To your health.

-Dave Rigby BS nutritional Science, MS medical Science

Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effect of vitamin D supplements on the incidence of seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren.DESIGN: From December 2008 through March 2009, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing vitamin D(3) supplements (1200 IU/d) with placebo in schoolchildren. The primary outcome was the incidence of influenza A, diagnosed with influenza antigen testing with a nasopharyngeal swab specimen.

RESULTS: Influenza A occurred in 18 of 167 (10.8%) children in the vitamin D(3) group compared with 31 of 167 (18.6%) children in the placebo group [relative risk (RR), 0.58; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.99; P = 0.04]. The reduction in influenza A was more prominent in children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.79; P = 0.006) and who started nursery school after age 3 y (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.78; P = 0.005). In children with a previous diagnosis of asthma, asthma attacks as a secondary outcome occurred in 2 children receiving vitamin D(3) compared with 12 children receiving placebo (RR: 0.17; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.73; P = 0.006).CONCLUSION: This study suggests that vitamin D(3) supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A, especially in specific subgroups of schoolchildren. This trial was registered as UMIN000001373.