Bibliographic review: vitamin D supplements help prevent respiratory infections

A meta-analysis has suggested that vitamin D supplements help prevent respiratory tract infections, especially in patients with vitamin D insufficiency.

Iacobucci G. “Vitamin D supplementation does cut respiratory infections, new study suggests”. BMJ. 2017 Feb 15; 356:j847.

Recently, one of the most important journals in the medical field, the British Medical Journal, published the results of a meta-analysis where it was observed that, in a statistically significant way, there was a reduction in the number of patients who suffered at least one respiratory infection during the study in a group of patients taking a vitamin D supplement. At the same time, numerous observational studies have warned that patients with vitamin D deficiencies are highly susceptibility to suffer respiratory infections.

The publication describes how the population with vitamin D deficiency principally benefit from taking vitamin D supplements and how the supplements contribute to a reduction in the number of initial respiratory infections in 3 out of 5 cases. The meta-analysis advocates that a list of foods that are rich in vitamin D should be included in the measures recommended by the Public Health Service. Since vitamin D supplementation is a safe practice when administered in comfortable weekly doses, it is logical to conclude that these supplements could be an ideal means to ensure that people will receive the same protective effects as stated in the meta-analysis.

In conclusion, it appears that vitamin D has a certain protective effect on the respiratory system in those patients who suffer from vitamin D deficiency and receive supplementation for said deficiency. This benefit has also been observed as a side effect in a larger study. Taking into account that vitamin D is a molecule which we know possesses many benefits and rarely produces adverse side effects, it is interesting that studies have been conducted on an individual basis.

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