Every now and then, scientists have breakthrough in their research that completely changes or utterly confirms treatments in health care. A recent study shows that vitamin D supplements are useless in COPD patients.
Belgium researchers have conducted a study that showed high-dose vitamin D does not reduce Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbations. However, the research also showed that correcting severe deficiency may help.
For COPD patients a vitamin D insufficiency is a common occurrence. According to Medpagetoday, vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk for extrapulmonary manifestations of the disease. As a result, vitamin D supplements have been proposed in the treatment for both pulmonary and extrapulmonary manifestations.
Now, the Belgium study shows emphysema and chronic bronchitis (the two main forms of COPD) need more than just sunlight. Dr. Wim Janssens with the respiratory division at University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven, told USATODAY: “There are studies showing that patients with vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to different inflammatory, infections and autoimmune diseases, and most likely COPD”.
But, Janssens emphasizes that “vitamin D restoration to normal levels in COPD patients does not reduce the number of exacerbations, does not reduce the infections and inflammation”. But, as researchers say, high-dose vitamin D may be more valuable earlier in the disease course, “consistent with the idea that such milder stages are also more sensitive to disease modification.”
The problem at hand is not to be taken lightly. As Dr. Diane Gold, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, points out, “COPD ranks in the top 10 causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States”.
Gold explains that so far the only therapy that actually improved the condition of a COPD patient was stopping smoking. But that also had limited effect in reducing COPD associated deaths. At the same time, she “does not definitively refute the benefit of vitamin D supplements for reducing COPD exacerbations”.
Researches involved in the study came to the conclusion that they need to perform larger trials with longer follow up an daily vitamin D dosing to truly understand what’s going on.
The study was published in the January 17th issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine and compiles findings after monitoring 182 patients with moderate to severe COPD.
3300 i.u. of vitamin D/day is hardly “high dose”. In fact that’s anything but the definition. The human body will make up to 20,000 i.u. /day (about 1/2 milligram), every day, if allowed through even 15 minutes of sun exposure.
The research was conceived based on a naive basis that one size dosing fits all patients. Anyone even casually familiar with vitamin D chemistry recognizes this fat soluble molecule is required in different amounts by everyone. In particular, BMI plays a definitive role in one’s levels. The higher the BMI, the more vitamin D required to reach a repletion state.
Most experts consider a circulating levels (blood level) of at least 40 ng/ml to approach or complete repletion. It is in a repletion state where the body has enough free floating vitamin D, and metabolites, to allow EVERY cell in the body to use the compound as necessary.
Daily vitamin D supplementation of up to 10,000 i.u is perfectly safe, whether your physician thinks so, or not. Many COPD sufferers find great relief from symptoms at this level and vast improvements in quality of life.
Asthma appears to be a malady so related to chronic vitamin D deficiency it is shocking. Shocking in the fact that in the 21st century we failed to realize the connection!
In regards to “vitamin” D (it’s a steroid hormone- the most powerful one in the human body- no vitamin at all) be certain you take D3- NEVER D2. D2, the doctor prescribed phony junk, is much less potent that the natural form made in your skin and available over the counter. D2 is MUCH LESS bioavaliable and does not offer the same benefit as natural D2- not even close. there’s tons of research on this and the debate is closed.
NEVER ACCEPT D2! Your doctors know better. They are either lazy or trying to please their drug reps- or both!