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Effect of vitamin D supplementation on antibiotic use

  [ 7 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Bich Tran et al. • • January 13, 2014

Effect of vitamin D supplementation on antibiotic use: a randomized controlled trial

By Bich Tran et al.


Background: Observational data suggested that supplementation with vitamin D could reduce risk of infection, but trial data are inconsistent.

Objective: We aimed to examine the effect of oral vitamin D supplementation on antibiotic use.

Design: We conducted a post hoc analysis of data from pilot D-Health, which is a randomized trial carried out in a general community setting between October 2010 and February 2012. A total of 644 Australian residents aged 60–84 y were randomly assigned to receive monthly doses of a placebo (n = 214) or 30,000 (n = 215) or 60,000 (n = 215) IU oral cholecalciferol for 12 mo. Antibiotics prescribed during the intervention period were ascertained by linkage with pharmacy records through the national health insurance scheme (Medicare Australia).

Results: People who were randomly assigned 60,000 IU cholecalciferol had nonsignificant 28% lower risk of having antibiotics prescribed at least once than did people in the placebo group (RR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.48, 1.07). In analyses stratified by age, in subjects aged 70 y, there was a significant reduction in antibiotic use in the high-dose vitamin D compared with placebo groups (RR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.90), whereas there was no effect in participants aged <70 y (RR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.58, 1.97) (P-interaction = 0.1).

Conclusion: Although this study was a post hoc analysis and statistically nonsignificant, this trial lends some support to the hypothesis that supplementation with 60,000 IU vitamin D/mo is associated with lower risk of infection, particularly in older adults. The trial was registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( as ACTRN12609001063202.

Source: Bich Tran, Bruce K Armstrong, Peter R Ebeling, Dallas R English, Michael G Kimlin, Jolieke C van der Pols, Alison Venn, Val Gebski, David C Whiteman, Penelope M Webb, and Rachel E Neale. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on antibiotic use: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr January 2014 vol. 99 no. 1 156-161

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Article Comments Post a Comment

I hope the dose was spread out !
Posted by: Sandy10m
Jan 25, 2014
30,000 IU or 60,000 IU per month. If they gave that to the people all at one time, it must have been Vitamin D2, not D3. I assume this was a divided dose, given as D3 as 1000 IU per day (30,000 IU monthly) or 2000 IU per day (60,000 IU monthly). These doses have been shown to be useful in other studies, so it's no surprise that this study showed some improvement in people's health. However, we all need to be aware that there are 2 sources of Vitamin D3: fish and lanolin. Read the labels. Some people are allergic to one form or the other, which may manifest itself as strong headaches. Make sure you try both forms, and slowly work your way up to the recommended dose 400 IU at a time. Remember that Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone, so think about it that way. I have personal overwhelming experience with improvements in health while taking Vitamin D3 every day.
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