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Vitamin D may reduce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is difficult to breathe fully, with symptoms at times becoming more acute, called exacerbations, which require medication.

In this review of three vitamin D studies, covering 469 men and women, aged 40 to 86, with moderate to very severe COPD, doctors administered a placebo or doses of vitamin D from 36,000 IU to 100,000 IU per month. The primary purpose of the studies was to measure the rate of COPD exacerbations that required treatment with corticosteroids, antibiotics, or both.

Overall, while there were no changes in those who began the study with vitamin D levels greater than 25 nanomole per liter of blood, or 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood, those who began the study with lower levels of vitamin D and who took vitamin D during the study saw rates of exacerbations requiring medication drop by 45 percent.

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