Respiration

High-Dose Vitamin D Can Prevent Respiratory Infection in Older Adults

A high dose of vitamin D can prevent acute respiratory infection (ARI) in older adults living in long-term care facilities, according to new research.

Vitamin D is believed to bolster the immune system, which makes it an optimal supplement for older adults. However, this is the first study to examine the impact of vitamin D on residents of long-term care facilities.
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The researchers conducted a 12-month randomized controlled trial including 107 adults aged 60 years and older.

Residents were randomly assigned to either a high-dose or a standard-dose of vitamin D supplementation.

Those in the high-dose group received 100,000 IU/m, those in the standard-dose group already taking 400-1000 IU/d received a placebo, and those in the standard-dose group already taking less then 400 IU/d received 12,000 IU/m of vitamin D3.

Overall, a high-dose of vitamin D was associated with less ARIs. However, individuals in the high-dose group had a higher rate of falls, though fractures were uncommon.

“Monthly high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation reduced the incidence of ARI in older long-term care residents but was associated with a higher rate of falls without an increase in fractures,” the researchers concluded.

—Amanda Balbi

Reference:

Ginde AA, Blatchford P, Breese K, et al. High-dose monthly vitamin D for prevention of acute respiratory infection in older long-term care residents: a randomized clinical trial [published online November 16, 2016]. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.14679.