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Vitamin D Supplementation Could Help Prevent Seasonal Respiratory Infections

June 15, 2010: 02:29 PM EST
A new U.S. study has found that maintaining minimum vitamin D levels in the body seems to reduce both the number and severity of viral respiratory tract infections such as influenza. Researchers followed 198 healthy adults during the fall and winter 2009-2010. Eighteen participants maintained vitamin D levels of 38 nanograms/milliliter or higher during the study period. Only three of these (16.6 percent) developed viral infections. Eighty-one (45 percent) of the 180 other participants developed viral infections, but those with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood spent significantly fewer days sick. The researchers suggested that supplementing with vitamin D to achieve a blood level 38 ng/ml or higher could help prevent respiratory viral infections, especially during fall and winter, when vitamin D levels tend to be lower.
James R. Sabetta, Paolo DePetrillo, et al., "Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and the Incidence of Acute Viral Respiratory Tract Infections in Healthy Adults", PloS One, June 15, 2010, © Sabetta, et al.
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