A virus that you've probably never heard of before, but has been around forever, is making headlines. Here's what you need to know:
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (commonly called RSV) has been around for at least 60 years. Scientists first identified RSV in 1956, but it has likely been around for much longer. RSV is one of the everyday viruses that cause the common cold. While it is more common to see it cause symptoms in children, including newborns, it can be found in humans of all ages.
RSV is ubiquitous and similar to the flu and covid, it doesn't really cause life-threatening problems in people who are healthy and have strong immune systems.
Can Vitamin D help prevent and fight RSV?
The evidence is abundantly clear that Vitamin D helps prevent and fight respiratory viral infections. RSV, influenza, SARS, Bird Flu, and Covid are some well-known examples of the many viruses that can be found in people experiencing symptoms of respiratory system infections.
Is there any research on RSV and Vitamin D?
A study published in February of 2022 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found that infants that were low in Vitamin D were 11x more likely to have a life-threatening case of RSV than those who were not born low in vitamin D.
Another study looking at infants and their Vitamin D levels done in the Netherlands published in the journal Pediatrics found that babies that were low in Vitamin D were 6x more likely to have an infection than babies that had a higher level of Vitamin D.
The third research study we'll reference in this article is from 2021 in the journal BMC Pediatrics and found that childhood Vitamin D levels are "inversely associated with respiratory infections and childhood wheezing".
While three scientific journal articles don't prove anything definitively, remember that these are just a few of the many articles showing that Vitamin D has a protective effect against viral respiratory tract infections.
Bottom line: Vitamin D supplementation as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle has a powerful ability to help prevent and fight of viral infections.
Look for a future article about how important Vitamin D levels are for the baby in utero.