Dr Bollmann, Anti-Aging and Skin Care Specialist
With the cold weather we are seeing back east, the question arises if being in the cold causes more people to catch the common cold. While many studies say being cold does not produce a cold (respiratory tract infection), many anecdotal stories disagree. The following studies might show a role for Vitamin D deficiency as a reason for this discrepancy. During cold weather, such as we are now seeing on the east coast, it is difficult to get the vitamin D from the sun that we need to prevent the common cold.
A number of studies have suggested a role for vitamin D in innate immunity, including the prevention of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). Researchers from the University of Colorado (Colorado, USA) analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which involved 18,883 adults and adolescents between 1988 and 1994. The team found that people with the lowest average levels of Vitamin D in the blood were about 40% more likely to have a recent RTI, as compared to those with the highest Vitamin D blood levels . Further, low Vitamin D levels in people with asthma were associated with a five-time greater risk of RTI; and among COPD patients, RTIs were twice as common among those with Vitamin D deficiency.
So it might be a good idea in colder winter climates to supplement Vitamin D when the sun is not available.