High-dose # vitamin D does not protect children from winter sniffles

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The findings do not support routine high-dose vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of wintertime upper respiratory tract infections among healthy children.

Giving children high doses of vitamin D does not reduce their chances of getting viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), new research suggests.

Epidemiological studies support a link between low 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels with a higher risk of viral URTIs. However, whether winter supplementation of vitamin D reduces the risk has not been established.

In a new randomised clinical trial, 349 children aged 1-5 years received 2000IU/d of oral vitamin D supplementation (high-dose group) for a minimum of four months between September and May, while a second group of 354 children received 400 IU/d (standard-dose group). However, higher dose supplementation did not succeed in reducing the rate of viral URTIs.

There was no statistically significant difference in the number of laboratory-confirmed infections or the number of parent-reported upper respiratory tract illnesses between groups. There was no a significant difference between the groups in the median time to first infection.

“We may have just busted a myth,” said lead author, Dr Jonathon Maguire, from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. “More is not always better. Our findings do not support the routine use of high dose vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of wintertime upper respiratory tract infections among healthy children.”

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