If you have low levels of vitamin D, supplementing with the sunshine vitamin may make you less prone to respiratory tract infections and decrease reliance on antibiotics, according to a new study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital.
Vitamin D has long been associated with boosting immune defenses. This recent study, published in BMJ Open, supports this notion. The results showed 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.
“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.”