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Vitamin D may reduce respiratory infection in athletes

Intense physical training in winter increases chances for upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).

In this study, doctors gave 25 male taekwondo athletes a placebo or 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day during the four-week winter training session. Vitamin D levels rose 255 percent in the vitamin D group and remained unchanged for placebo.

Also compared to placebo, among those who came down with URTI, the vitamin D group reported 40 percent less severe symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, and coughing. Athletes also answered questionnaires about quality of life, which scored 27.8 percent higher for the vitamin D group compared to placebo.

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