Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

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We all know that eating well is important for our health. We want our children to get all the vitamins and minerals that they need to stay well and grow properly. We might even give them some extra vitamins in winter in the hope that it will stop the flu, and recent reports suggest that extra vitamin D could actually help to prevent viral infection in children.

vitamin-d-keep-colds-and-flu-away

How Vitamin D Helps

Vitamin D helps keep bones and muscles healthy, which is particularly important for growing children. It also plays an important role in the immune system, so it is important for fighting off viral infection in children. Recent research conducted by Queen Mary University of London has shown that taking vitamin D supplements can reduce the chances of catching infections like colds and the flu. Although it couldn’t prevent every infection, it did stop some of them. The researchers suggested that it could be a good idea to add vitamin D to some foods to ensure that everyone in the UK gets enough of this vital vitamin. Until this happens, there are other ways to ensure your child is getting enough vitamin D.

Getting Plenty Of Vitamin D

A healthy, balanced diet should give your child plenty of vitamins and minerals, but we sometimes need a little extra help with vitamin D. Enjoying the sun safely in summer can help our bodies to process vitamin D. Unfortunately the sun we get in the UK at this time of year isn’t strong enough to boost our vitamin D levels. Taking a daily supplement could ensure that your child gets plenty of vitamin D all year round.

It might be a good idea to start taking some extra vitamin D yourself too. As well as being essential for growth and potentially helping to prevent viral infection in children, vitamin D can also help to keep adults healthy and flu free.

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