Getting enough vitamins through diet (or a multivitamin, if necessary) is one of the best ways to bolster your immune system. And you may wonder if vitamins can also ward off colds and other respiratory conditions. An observational study published Oct. 27, 2020, by BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health offers encouraging news. Researchers evaluated the self-reported diet information of more than 6,000 British adults over eight years. People who reported the highest intakes of vitamins A and E from both diet and supplements, and high intake of vitamin D just from supplements, had the fewest complaints of respiratory illness, such as colds, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study doesn't prove that these vitamins prevented respiratory problems, but other studies have linked them to lower risks for respiratory disease. Vitamins are most effective when they come from diet. Good sources of vitamin A include liver; whole milk; cheese; carrots; and dark, leafy greens. Good sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. It's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food (such as fish or fortified milk), so taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 provides some insurance.
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