Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief

Bring on the tissues!

Cold and flu season has arrived -- and, along with it, a chorus of drippy noses, raw throats, and gunky lungs.

Let's face it: NO ONE wants to spend a week buried in a pile of wet Kleenex. But if you've already got asthma, these seasonal viruses aren't just uncomfortable... they could actually be a matter of life or DEATH!

That's because upper respiratory infections can inflame the delicate airways in your nose and lungs, which can set off a severe asthma attack. And if you don't get treatment for it STAT, you could wind up choking down your last breath.

But according to the latest research, there's a natural way to snuff out asthma attacks before they start -- because supplementing with vitamin D (a.k.a. the "sunshine" vitamin) can reduce the risk of having an attack that requires medical attention.

In the meta-analysis out of the UK, researchers analyzed the data from seven clinical trials involving nearly 1,000 patients with mild to moderate asthma. All of the studies selected met the "gold standard" of research -- meaning they were randomized, double-blind studies.

The researchers found that, compared to those who took placebos, participants who took vitamin D reduced their risk of having a moderate asthma attack -- one requiring treatment with steroid tablets or injections -- by 30 percent.

And those who'd had low vitamin D levels to begin with benefitted even MORE from supplementation with this hero vitamin, reducing their risk of a moderate asthma attack by 55 percent.

What's more, when it came to more severe attacks, the protective effects of vitamin D were also impressive, cutting the risk of attacks requiring a visit to the ER or hospitalization in HALF.

The theory is that vitamin D reduces harmful inflammation in your airways AND boosts your immune system, so you're less likely to catch an upper respiratory infection in the first place.

Now, vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, because your body naturally produces it when the sun's UV rays hit your skin.

But as the cloudier skies and cooler temperatures of fall and winter drive you indoors, you might not be getting enough of this vital vitamin.

So, if you want to breathe easier this season, load up on D-rich foods like fish (particularly salmon, catfish, and sardines), beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms.

To be on the safe side, I also recommend taking a high-quality supplement of vitamin D --specifically vitamin D3, which is the natural version, and not the synthetic D2.

You can find it at your local health food store, pharmacy, or online... and for just pennies a day.