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Vitamin D3 Supplements Reduce Respiratory Tract Infections

A new study at the Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital found that patients who are prone to frequent respiratory tract infections may benefit from vitamin D3 supplementation. Researchers led by Peter Bergman, a doctor at Karolinska University Hospital’s Immunodeficiency Unit, found that the vitamin, when given as a supplement over a 12-month period may reduce symptoms of respiratory tract infection (RTI) and antibiotic treatment among patients with immune deficiency or frequent RTIs.

Previous studies have shown that low serum levels of vitamin D3 are associated with an increased risk of RTIs. Clinical trials using vitamin 3 supplements against various infections have been done but data are mostly not conclusive. The investigators conducted a double-blind randomized controlled trial which involved 140 patients with antibody deficiency (immune disorder) and patients who are prone to RTIs (having more than four bacterial RTIs/year) but without immunological diagnosis. They were given either vitamin D3 (at a dose of 4000 IU) or placebo daily for one year. They were observed for symptoms from infection in the respiratory tract, ears and sinuses, and for antibiotic consumption.

The results, which were published in BMJ, showed that symptoms of respiratory tract infection fell by nearly a quarter and the use of antibiotics for treating RTIs was reduced by almost half. Vitamin D treatment was found to be well tolerated by all patients who received it and experienced no serious side effects. Bergman believes that their study has important implications for patients who experience recurrent RTIs or have poor immune defense and can help prevent the emergence of antibiotic resistance due to overuse.


Wellness Resources. Vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with frequent respiratory tract infections.


Posted in: Health Supplements, News Briefs, Vitamin D, Vitamins and Minerals

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