Today we discovered this press release from the Vitaman D Research Institute. The fact that vitamin D fights influenza provides even more evidence that vitamin D-3 is a powerful way to protect Mom and baby from intruders like the flu.

Press Release:

This morning, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial of school children showing vitamin D prevents influenza. A secondary finding was that asthmatic children on placebo had six times more asthma attacks than did children on vitamin D.

For information, contact the lead author, Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urashima at urashima@jikei.ac.jp

Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]

And, here’s the study that the press release refers to:

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.

Division of Molecular Epidemiology Jikei University School of Medicine Minato-ku Tokyo Japan.

BACKGROUND: To our knowledge, no rigorously designed clinical trials have evaluated the relation between vitamin D and physician-diagnosed seasonal influenza. 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 at https://center.umin.ac.jp as UMIN000001373.

PMID: 20219962 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]