Increased consumption of foods and supplements containing vitamins A, E and D could reduce respiratory illnesses in people, a new study has revealed.


The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), sampled 6,115 adults who were asked to report their vitamin intakes and possible respiratory problems.

The study recorded 33 complaints of respiratory illnesses which included chesty coughs, asthma and pulmonary disease.

Findings from the study showed that people who had respiratory complaints were those with low intake of vitamins A and E.


The study also found that those with high intake of vitamin D from supplements had fewer respiratory illnesses.

Foods containing vitamin A include whole milk, cheese, carrots and dark leafy vegetables while vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

Vitamin D can be gotten from sunlight as well as in foods such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, red meat and eggs.


According to the researchers, the study further corroborated the hypothesis that supplementation is “critical” for some, and that diet alone is often not enough.

“In conclusion, intake of vitamin A and E from diet and supplements, and vitamin D from supplements, show strong evidence of association with lower self-reported prevalence of respiratory complaints in a nationally representative sample of UK adults,” the researchers said.

The study has again renewed calls for medical experts to ascertain the effect of the vitamins, especially D, on COVID-19.

A study had in September revealed that vitamin D reduces the risk of COVID-19 deaths.


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