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John's Tips: Back to School Cold and Flu Season

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Cold and Flu SeasonSchool is back in session. Colds are spreading around already, and flu will soon be on the prowl. Is there anything to do except continually wash our hands? Recent studies have found that there may be some fairly simple help. A study at Yale published in PloS One in June found that healthy adults with higher blood levels of vitamin D during the fall and winter were less likely to develop viral respiratory infections than those with lower levels. Also, in a study released in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, school children given vitamin D supplements throughout winter were 40% less likely to develop the flu. Vitamin D plays several important roles in strengthening the immune system. Of course, check with you doctor first to make sure vitamin D supplements would be appropriate for you and at what level. So, with plenty of sleep, washing hands, healthy nutrition, exercise at the Y, and perhaps some extra vitamin D, maybe, just maybe, colds and flu could be reduced this winter.