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Vitamin D May Reduce the Incidence of Acute Viral Respiratory Tract Infections in Healthy Adults

In a prospective cohort study involving 198 healthy adults, higher concentrations of 25-hydroxvitamin D were found to be associated with a significantly reduced risk of acute respiratory tract infections. Specifically, having a 25(OH)D of 38 ng/ml or higher was associated with a 2-fold reduction in the risk of developing acute respiratory tract infections, and moreover, a marked reduction in the percentage of days ill. Higher 25(OH)D levels were found to be associated with vitamin D supplementation, lean body mass, and light skin pigmentation. The authors conclude, "The findings of the present study provide direction for and call for future interventional studies examining the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the incidence and severity of specific viral infections, including influenza, in the general population and in subpopulations with lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, such as pregnant women, dark skinned individuals, and the obese."
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