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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.

References

  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.

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