Researchers from Queen Mary University of London found that vitamin D supplements have the ability to reduce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) flare-ups in vitamin D deficient patients.
Affecting over 65 million people worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that nearly 5% of all deaths globally can be attributed to COPD, leading Queen Mary University researchers to create a randomized trial that investigated the affect vitamin D supplements had on individuals suffering from the disease.
Published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, researchers studied 240 COPD patients, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Half of participants were given a vitamin D supplement and the remaining participants received a placebo supplement.
The results of the study indicated that patients with a vitamin D deficiency benefited from taking the supplements, having dramatically fewer flare-ups with reduced severity and duration. Those without a vitamin D deficiency did not see the same results.
“Our findings suggest that patients with COPD should have their vitamin D status tested and should begin taking supplements if their levels are found to be low” said Professor Adrian Martineau, Lead Author, Queen Mary University of London. “Our research has shown how an inexpensive vitamin supplement can significantly reduce the risk of flare-ups for patients who are vitamin D deficient, which could have a major public health benefit.”