Over the past decade, interest has grown in the physiological importance of vitamin D outside of bone health and calcium homeostasis and there is mounting evidence to suggest it plays a beneficial role in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of diseases, including respiratory infections.

New research published in the British Medical Journal analysed data from 25 randomised controlled trials comprised of 11,321 participants aged <95 years.  Findings showed that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants with strongest effects in those with lowest vitamin D levels. These are important findings and worthy of further exploration, given that the recent National Diet & Nutrition Survey revealed that 1 in 5 adults had low blood levels of vitamin D and highlights the need for further exploration into the effects of food fortification to improve the health of the general population. For more information, see: Martineau AR et al. (2017) British Medical Journal; 356.