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Vitamin D May Reduce Incidence of COPD Flare-Ups

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often also suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which puts them at increased risk of upper respiratory infections and flare-ups of the ailment. A recent study suggests that taking vitamin D3 supplements may reduces flare-ups of COPD.

Participants in the study included 240 people with COPD living in and around London. Over the course of three months they were given two supplements per month of either 3mg of vitamin D or a placebo.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that all participants in the vitamin D group had a modest reduction in severity and duration of symptoms regardless of their vitamin D levels at baseline. However, they noted that individuals who were vitamin D deficient at the beginning of the study showed greater reductions than those who started with adequate vitamin D levels.

Ultimately they found that vitamin D3 supplements protected against moderate or severe exacerbation but not upper respiratory infections in people with a baseline level of less than 50 nmol/L. They also found a reduction in flare ups of more than 40% in the participants who had low vitamin D at the onset of the study.

Researchers from Queen Mary University in London conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on December 2, 2104, in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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