Improving Health


Vitamin D: An Essential Vitamin for Strong Bones and Healthy Living

Posted by Heather Leger, MS, RD, LD on December 1, 2022


With a plethora of vitamin supplements available, it may be difficult to determine which ones are right for you.  As one of the more common supplements, vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for health and to maintain strong bones.  It is both a nutrient found in the foods we eat as well as a hormone that is naturally produced in the body.  

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, it also aids in transporting calcium and phosphorus to your bones and teeth, and can help regulate the amount of circulating calcium in the blood.  In addition to boosting bone health, vitamin D may play an important role in your body’s immune system.  

Can Vitamin D prevent the flu or common cold?

According to an article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, several scientists set out to study the effects of vitamin D on reducing the occurrence of the flu or common cold.  They found that vitamin D levels are lowest in the winter months, the active form of vitamin D may temper the inflammatory response of certain white blood cells while also boosting the immune cells’ production of microbe-fighting proteins, and adults with low vitamin D levels are more likely to report having a recent cough, cold, or upper respiratory infection.  

Although many randomized controlled trials that have studied whether vitamin D can prevent other acute respiratory infections have produced mixed results, a large meta-analysis of patient data showed that daily or weekly vitamin D supplementation lowered risk of acute respiratory infections especially for those who were already vitamin D deficient.  More research is needed before concluding that vitamin D does in fact, against the flu and other acute respiratory infections so even though supplementing has some benefits you should not skip your yearly flu shot.  

Which Foods Contain Vitamin D?

Food sources of vitamin D include:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Cod liver oil
  • Dairy and non-dairy milks fortified with vitamin D
  • Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
  • Egg yolk
  • Fortified cereals 

While incorporating Vitamin D through whole foods is a great start, Vitamin D supplementation may still be needed especially if you live in a colder climate or location with minimal sunshine throughout the year. 


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  (2021, December 6).  The Nutrition Source: Vitamin D.

Have questions about your Vitamin D levels? Schedule an appointment with your CareATC primary care provider. 

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Heather Leger, MS, RD, LD

About The Author

Heather Leger, MS, RD, LD

Post Topics Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Supplements