Vitamin D supplementation protects against some acute respiratory tract infections

Added March 23, 2020

Citation: Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ 2017; 356: i6583

What is this? COVID-19 is an infection of the respiratory tract. It has been suggested that Vitamin D supplementation might prevent acute respiratory tract infection in other circumstances. The findings of research into this may be worth considering for COVID-19.

In this systematic review, the authors collected data on each individual participant in randomised, placebo controlled trials of supplementation with vitamin D3 to evaluate its effects on the prevention of acute respiratory tract infection. They collected data from trials identified in a search in December 2015. They included 25 eligible studies (11,321 participants).

What works: Vitamin D supplementation is safe, and protects against some acute respiratory tract infections.

People who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Nothing noted.