Effect of Monthly, High-Dose, Long-Term Vitamin D on Lung Function: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

23 May 2018

Although observational studies suggest positive vitamin D-lung function associations, randomized trials are inconsistent. We examined effects of vitamin D supplementation on lung function. We recruited 442 adults (50-84 years, 58% male) into a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Participants received, for 1.1 years (median; range = 0.9-1.5 years), either (1) vitamin D₃ 200,000 IU, followed by monthly 100,000 IU doses (n = 226); or (2) placebo monthly (n = 216). At baseline and follow-up, spirometry yielded forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1; primary outcome). Mean (standard deviation) 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased from 61 (24) nmol/L at baseline to 119 (45) nmol/L at follow-up in the vitamin D group, but was unchanged in the placebo group. There were no significant lung function improvements (vitamin D versus placebo) in the total sample, vitamin D-deficient participants or asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) participants. However, among ever-smokers (n = 217), the mean (95% confidence interval) FEV1 increase in the vitamin D versus placebo was 57 (4, 109) mL (p = 0.03). FEV1 increases were larger among vitamin D-deficient ever-smokers (n = 54): 122 (8, 236) mL (p = 0.04). FEV1 improvements were largest among ever-smokers with asthma/COPD (n = 60): 160 (53, 268) mL (p = 0.004). Thus, vitamin D supplementation did not improve lung function among everyone, but benefited ever-smokers, especially those with vitamin D deficiency or asthma/COPD.