Vitamin D Ineffective Against Lung Disease
Taking large amounts of vitamin D won’t help to ease the symptoms of lung disease, new Belgian research suggests. According to Reuters Health, the study from University Hospitals Leuven shows that extra vitamin D doesn’t help prevent symptoms or hospital visits in connection with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
“Supplementation with vitamin D is not going to cure their disease,” said study author Wim Janssens. “It is again clear for COPD patients that these exacerbations [in symptoms] are really hard to treat…There are a lot of relapses. We’re basically failing in treating those.”
Previously, it was thought that people with COPD were deficient in vitamin D, leading many to think that taking large doses of it would help to prevent the shortness of breath caused by mucus in the airways. Because vitamin D has been associated with bone health and osteoporosis, Janssens and his colleagues believed the vitamin could reduce inflammation in the airways of COPD patients.
To test their theory, the team assigned a group of 182 COPD patients to take either high-dose vitamin D tablets or a placebo every four weeks. They were followed for a year, in which time 2.8 percent of the vitamin D group and 2.9 percent of the placebo group reported exacerbation in symptoms. The exacerbations led to 79 hospitalizations in the vitamin D group and 73 in the placebo group, Reuters said.