D-day for flu

Why vitamin D could be better at battling colds than vitamin C

For years, the conventional advice for avoiding colds and flu has been mammoth doses of vitamin C. But new research suggests that the god-like status of vitamin C – the most widely taken dietary supplement – may have been misplaced; vitamin D may be more effective at building immunity.

Researchers in America found that volunteers who took vitamin D supplements for three years suffered 70 per cent fewer episodes of colds and flu. Separate studies show that vitamin D also protects against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Sunlight on our skin accounts for 90% of our intake and, after a long British winter, around 60% of us are deficient.

Britain has no recommended supplement dose, but foods that can build up our intake on top of what we make from sunlight are milk, fish, eggs, liver and fortified cereals.

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