New Study: Vitamin D Confirmed To Protect Against Cold And Flu

Savers know that Vitamin D is essential for building strong, fracture-resistant bones. But there’s more about Vitamin D that matters a whole lot, as you’ll learn in today’s article. A recently published meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials analyzing the impact of Vitamin D supplementation on acute respiratory tract infection has confirmed that supplementation protects against the flu, colds, and other respiratory tract ailments.

The study uses the vast pool of data it examines to explain why certain past studies seem to suggest that Vitamin D supplementation had no effect. We’ll look at why we can now confidently say this isn’t true, and that Vitamin D offers protective benefits across the board.

This news is extremely relevant now, in the middle of a devastating flu season, and reinforces the Save Institute’s long-standing recommendation for Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation both as a measure for increasing bone density and quality and for the general improvement of your health.

Meta-Analysis Shows That Vitamin D Prevents Respiratory Tract Infection

A recently-published study in the BMJ analyzed the methods and results of 25 trials that included 11,321 participants of all ages. To be included in the meta-analysis, the studies had to be randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of Vitamin D supplementation. Studies of any duration were permitted, but only if they were approved by a research ethics committee, and they collected data on the incidence of acute respiratory tract infection prospectively and prespecified as an efficacy outcome.1

This extremely high bar of inclusion ensures that the studies are of the highest quality. The sheer magnitude of data shields against anomalous outcomes. The results of the analysis are ironclad and plainly stated in the publication: “Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants.”1

Individual studies included in the analysis did not always reach such a clear conclusion, but the researchers were able to isolate the differences between the trials that created these discrepancies. This information is incredibly valuable, as it isolates the methods of supplementation that are most efficacious.

Protective effects were seen in study participants who took daily and weekly supplements, but not those who only received one or more isolated doses of Vitamin D. This shows that regular supplementation is essential for protecting the respiratory tract.

The researchers also discovered that those who had a low baseline vitamin D level saw greater benefits from supplementation than those whose levels were already high. That seems fairly obvious; those who get a lot of vitamin D before supplementation are already receiving the benefits, so additional supplementation doesn’t add that much. It’s also important to note that even those who already had high baseline levels of vitamin D saw benefits, but the change just wasn’t as drastic as in those whose levels were lacking.

A Safe And Healthful Alternative To The Flu Vaccine

The protection offered by a regular vitamin D supplement is on par with the protective effect of the flu vaccine.2 The biggest difference is that a vitamin D supplement is absolutely safe and has multiple health benefits. Not surprisingly, the BMJ study states that:

“Use of vitamin D did not influence risk of serious adverse events of any cause or death due to any cause.”1

You can take vitamin D without concern that you’re poisoning your body or making yourself more susceptible to the virus you’re trying to avoid.

Each year the makers of the flu vaccine take a guess at which strains of the virus will strike, and produce a vaccine for such strains. This means it never covers all of the strains that will emerge, and often misses the ones that wind up being the most widespread, which is what happened this year and several previous years as well. And getting the flu shot comes with the risk of side effectst, many of which are the very flu-symptoms you’re trying to avoid.

Vitamin D has a far more natural and far-reaching effect, protecting your lungs from viral and bacterial infection by supporting the induction of antimicrobial peptides. It accomplishes this without causing side effects or putting your health at risk.

You have a choice between a flu shot that adds acidifying chemicals to your body in a most-often futile attempt to prevent the flu and a safe bone-building vitamin that protects against the flu, colds and other respiratory infections.

That’s an easy choice. Especially given how important Vitamin D is to the health of your bones.

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) For Bone Health

Vitamin D, listed as a Foundation Supplement in the Save Our Bones Program, is essential for the proper absorption and synthesis of calcium. It stimulates the intestinal uptake of both calcium and magnesium. And without vitamin D, you can’t turn that calcium into the mineral matrix that adds density to your bone. It helps prevent fracture by improving balance and preventing falls. Plus it facilitates bone remodeling by stimulating osteoclast differentiation and calcium reabsorption of bone.

For all of these reasons (and more!), the Save Institute recommends a daily dose of 2000 IUs of vitamin D3. Make sure it’s D3 (cholecalciferol) and not D2. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) does not have the benefits of vitamin D3.

The Save Our Bones Program has recommended Vitamin D3 supplementation from the get-go. It’s exciting to see that Mainstream Medicine finally recognizes what the Save Institute has long held true. You can learn more about Vitamin D3 and the rest of the Foundation Supplements (including recommended dosages) in the Program.

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Keep your immune system primed and your respiratory tract protected with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and daily supplements to make it through cold-and-flu season unscathed.

Till next time,


1Martineau Adrian R, Jolliffe David A, Hooper Richard L, Greenberg Lauren, Aloia John F, Bergman Peter et al. “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.” BMJ. February 15, 2017. Web:

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15 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. therese March 2, 2018, 11:41 am

    just had a screening -4.3 T Score. How much trouble am I in?

  2. Joan February 25, 2018, 10:43 am

    I was taking D3. I had to stop because my calcium blood level was too high..

  3. Thomas Hiatt, DPT, IN February 25, 2018, 8:24 am

    I recommend CBD OIL as well (hemp derived) as it mediates great sleep and and as an adjunct to D3 releives anxiety and stress helping to reduce cortisol levels.

  4. shula February 23, 2018, 11:51 am

    This is valuable information about Vit. D protecting against flu. Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 23, 2018, 5:43 pm

      You’re welcome, Shula!

  5. Terri February 22, 2018, 12:02 pm

    It is necessary to take Vitamin D3 in the wintertime in the northern parts of North America because we just don’t get enough sunshine to manufacture it through our skin. Since upping my dose to 3500 mg daily, I have also found that I don’t require my light for SAD too.

  6. Kristy February 22, 2018, 9:27 am

    Everyone, do yourself a favor and read about the fantastic benefits of vitamin D. An excellent website is Not only does it boost the immune system, it prevents certain types of cancer, and builds bones. Most of us are not aware of newer studies and findings. Those that did not have a benefit from taking vitamin D, were not taking enough. You need to take enough to get your blood levels at 60-80. That could be 10,000 IU or more. Everyone should get tested first to see what your baseline is. The test is about $80. My original level was 28. It is now 65 and I supplement with 10,000 IU daily. I have not had a cold or flu since my levels were increased. I strongly believe that I will not get cancer or MS either as vitamin D is preventative. My osteoporosis has decreased to osteopenia as of my last DEXA. Good luck everyone.

  7. Will February 22, 2018, 8:50 am

    I take about 3500 iu of D3 per day, along with 300 mg of magnesium and 200 mg of calcium supplements. 5 weeks ago I had the flu and suffered with some fever for almost a week. 4 weeks later I still have some respiratory effects. The D3 had no effect as I have taken that D3 dosage for over 2 years daily. D3 may help bones and metabolism but it sure has not helped in stopping, reducing nor recuperating from the flu.

    • Cold City February 22, 2018, 12:13 pm

      Hi Will! The flu can be very hard at times. In fact many factors are involved. It could be genetics, it could be lack of other vitamins or minerals. My wife is just recovering from a severe flu despite taking many vitamins and eating healthier than most.
      One big flaw in animal studies is the use of rats and mice which make their own vitamin C from sugar. We, humans have loss this capability. There are 4 steps from glucose to vitamin C, each one requiring a different enzyme. The third enzyme in humans is defective because of a defective gene. Guinea pigs also lack the ability to make vitamin C, they should be studied instead of rats and mice. Vitamin C is important for flu and other diseases avoidance. A research has shown that when sick, the animals that can make their own vitamin C, make as much as 5 grams (5000 milligrams) per day when adjusting to human average weight.
      So to help, when feeling low or chilly to take at least a gram of vitamin C divided in several doses throughout the day.

      • Will February 22, 2018, 1:00 pm

        Thank you for your reply. I did not list all of the other vitamins that I take a day, including B complex, high dose of B12, bee pollen, garlic oil, curcumin,… and other autoimmune natural supplements. But I was taking 1000 mg of vitamin C during the fever week. This flu strain was worse than others and I had avoided those in previous years. So getting back to D3 – good for body health, but worthless for flu when your D levels are good.

  8. Ita February 22, 2018, 6:12 am

    Thank you, Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 22, 2018, 12:58 pm

      You’re welcome, Ita. 🙂

  9. Jasminka February 22, 2018, 4:23 am

    Vitamin D is hormone.
    Although I see that it has also improved my immunity it is significantly impairing my sleep when I take more than 1200 iu daily. Also, the PIL recommends not taking more than 1000 iu daily.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 22, 2018, 12:57 pm

      Jasminka, you might want to make sure you take your Vitamin D before 3pm. It will be less likely to affect your sleep that way. 🙂

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