January 2017

Vitamin D Might Reduce Risk of Respiratory Illness in Elderly

A new clinical trial shows that taking 100,000 IU vitamin D3 monthly for 12 months reduces the risk of respiratory illness, including both upper (common colds, sinus infections, sore throat, ear infection) and lower (bronchitis, flu, pneumonia) respiratory tract infections, in the elderly in long-term care facilities.  The risk was reduced by 40% in those receiving high doses compared to those receiving a monthly placebo. Those already taking more than 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily were excluded, as were those with vitamin D blood levels of 40 ng/mL or greater at the beginning of the study. There was no increase in kidney stones, hypercalcemia, vitamin D toxicity, hospitalizations, fractures, or death for those receiving high-dose vitamin D; however, there was an increase in falls.


  1. Ginde AA, Blatchford P, Breese K, et al. High-Dose Monthly Vitamin D for Prevention of Acute Respiratory Infection in Older Long-Term Care Residents: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14679.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2024 NatMed. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. NatMed is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.