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Vitamin D managing Colds and flu

We are coming up to the cold, winter months where coughs, colds and more serious complications like bronchitis and ‘flu affect our health. If you are a speaker, trainer, or someone who uses their voice for communicating, these illnesses have a negative impact on your performance.

Here in the United Kingdom we are positively encouraged to have ‘Flu Jabs’ as part of our health plan. Last year my family all had the jab and it made such a difference to our health. However, like many people I want to ensure I remain healthy through my lifestyle, including exercise and what I eat.

I was therefore THRILLED to discover that a recent credible medical study (i.e. it had a big enough sample and wasn’t funded by a company wanting to promote their products) was announced by the NHS. Read it here.

To summarise, the research identified that taking vitamin D supplements during the winter months, when there isn’t as much sunlight (understatement) provides protection against bronchial illnesses such as colds, coughs and flu like symptoms. They recommend adding Vitamin D to some foods to ensure people have enough Vitamin D during the winter months, or to encourage individuals to take Vitamin D supplements during the winter months. Read the recommendations here. 

However, there are come critiques to this research. Not all of the scientists who have read the report believe there is enough evidence to show that taking a Vitamin D supplement will prevent these bronchial illnesses: the worst are very serious, and that it might be giving false information or hope.

And I have read on social media (of course) by non-qualified people, that Vitamin D prevents ‘flu, but this is a false comment since there are other factors such as the existing health of the patient and age that can impact on the illness.

I am now going to take Vitamin D tablets and ensure I have sufficient Vitamin D from eggs; tuna and salmon also contains the vitamin. Since I am not in a high risk group for bronchial illnesses: unlike those with asthma, elderly people etc I hope this will protect me against the worst of the winter’s illnesses. However, I would recommend you speak to a pharmacist to discuss whether having a flu jab will be additional protection.

If you would like a copy of my 5 Top Tips to being a great Communicator register here.


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