Researchers are working hard to understand the role of vitamin E supplementation.
Vitamin E is most commonly known as a fat-soluble antioxidant. It is similar to vitamin C in that it also plays a role in keeping the immune system healthy.
Researchers are working hard to understand this role. In a review article published inNutrients, the authors highlighted several supplementation studies that were done in people over age 60 years, and in smokers. The best results were in male smokers who experienced 69% lower incidence of pneumonia. This group smoked 5—19 cigarettes per day at baseline and exercised at leisure time. Also, elderly nursing home residents showed fewer upper respiratory infections and lower incidence of common cold.
More studies are needed to understand how vitamin E supplementation applies to school-aged children and healthy, well-nourished adults with optimal vitamin E levels. It is possible that these groups might not see a dramatic effect since a vitamin E deficiency would be less likely. Historically, it is usually people who have a vitamin deficiency that is then restored to normal who receive beneficial results from vitamin supplementation.
During the cold and flu season good nutrition and proper sleep is essential. Foods high in vitamin E are vegetable oils (especially wheat germ oil), nuts, kiwi, mango, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, eggs, fish, and avocados.
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