Does Vitamin D Decrease Risk of Respiratory Infections?
This study by Martineau et al. (BMJ, 2017) aimed to determine if vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infection.
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
25 randomized controlled trials were surveyed and 10,933 participants were included. Supplementation with vitamin D was found to reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections among all participants (odds ratio 0.88, 95% CI 0.81-0.96, P<0.001). In subgroup analysis, protective effects were observed in individuals who received daily or weekly vitamin D. Protective effects were stronger among those with baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <25 nmol/L (odds ratio 0.30, 95% CI 0.17 – 0.53) than those with higher levels (odds ratio 0.75, 95% CI 0.60-0.95, P=0.006). Vitamin D did not affect the risk of serious adverse events or death due to any cause. The overall quality of evidence was of high quality. It appears that vitamin D supplementation is safe and protects against acute respiratory infections, particularly in those individuals who are vitamin D deficient.
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