BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Researchers conducted a study and found that taking vitamin D supplements when you're sick can reduce the risk of an upper respiratory infection by 12 percent.
The study was published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers also found evidence suggesting that although people with normal levels of vitamin D benefit from the approach, those with low levels appear to have the greatest advantage.
"There is a correlation between people who have low vitamin D levels, we're talking about 20 or below," Dr. Evan Kim said.
Kim, with Adventist Health, said many more studies prove vitamin D supplements are not a magic bullet.
He said many of his patients are vitamin D deficient, but instead of popping pills, he recommends at least 20 minutes in the sun a day. He added that even while wearing sunscreen, people will produce some vitamin C.
And the best way to ward off a cold? Cover your cough and wash your hands.
While some people load up on vitamin C, Echinacea and green tea, Kim said there are better ways to boost your immune system.
"That has to come from good sleep, good nutrition and as less stress as you can get from life," he said.