Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D can help infection-prone patients avoid respiratory tract infection

Date:
December 13, 2012
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Treating infection-prone patients over a 12-month period with high doses of vitamin D reduces their risk of developing respiratory tract infection -- and consequently their antibiotic requirement, according to a new study by researchers in Sweden.

Treating infection-prone patients over a 12-month period with high doses of vitamin D reduces their risk of developing respiratory tract infection -- and consequently their antibiotic requirement. This according to a new study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital published in the online scientific journal BMJ Open.

Related Articles


"Our research can have important implications for patients with recurrent infections or a compromised immune defence, such as a lack of antibodies, and can also help to prevent the emerging resistance to antibiotics that come from overuse," says Peter Bergman, researcher at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Laboratory Medicine and doctor at Karolinska University Hospital's Immunodeficiency Unit. "On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be anything to support the idea that vitamin D would help otherwise healthy people with normal, temporary respiratory tract infections."

Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin through exposure to sunlight and obtained through certain foods. In Sweden there is a seasonal variation in vitamin D in the blood, the trough coming during the darker half of the year. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of infection, and it has long been known that the vitamin can also activate the immune defence.

For the present study now published in BMJ Open the researchers examined whether treatment with vitamin D can prevent and relieve respiratory tract infections in particularly infection-prone patients. All the 140 participants from the Immunodeficiency Unit had symptoms of disease in their respiratory tracts for at least 42 days prior to the study. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, one of which received vitamin D in relatively high doses, the other a placebo. They were also asked to keep a diary recording their state of health every day during the year-long study period.

The results show that symptoms of respiratory tract infection declined by almost a quarter and the use of antibiotics by almost half. Vitamin D treatment was also tolerated well by all patients and gave no serious side-effects.

The effect of vitamin D on respiratory tract infection is controversial, and a major study from New Zeeland published recently in the scientific journal JAMA found that it did not reduce the incidence or severity of viral respiratory tract infections. However, the present study differs from the JAMA study in several important respects, which could explain their different results. The JAMA study examined a group of healthy people with initially normal levels of vitamin D in the blood, and used bolus dose administration (i.e. large doses on fewer occasions), which is thought to be less effective that daily doses.

"However, the most important difference is probably due to the fact that our participants had much lower initial levels of vitamin D than those in the New Zealand study," says Dr Anna-Carin Norlin, doctoral student and co-lead author of the study along with Dr Bergman. "There is evidence from previous studies that vitamin D supplements are only effective in patients who fall well below the recommended level, which also suggests that it would be wise to check the vitamin D levels of patients with recurrent infections."

The study was financed by Karolinska Institutet, the Stockholm County Council and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter Bergman, Anna-Carin Norlin, Susanne Hansen, Rokeya Sultana Rekha, Birgitta Agerberth, Linda Bjφrkhem-Bergman, Lena Ekstrφm, Jonatan D Lindh, Jan Andersson. Vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with frequent respiratory tract infections: a randomised and double-blind intervention study. BMJ Open, 2012; 2: 6 e001663 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001663

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Vitamin D can help infection-prone patients avoid respiratory tract infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213193139.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2012, December 13). Vitamin D can help infection-prone patients avoid respiratory tract infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213193139.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Vitamin D can help infection-prone patients avoid respiratory tract infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213193139.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) — After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) — Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins