The researchers studied 182 patients with severe COPD to determine whether supplementation with high doses of vitamin D could reduce the incidence of COPD exacerbations.
Patients were randomly assigned to receive either 100,000 IU of vitamin D or placebo every four weeks for one year. Researchers then measured time to exacerbation of COPD.
The researchers found that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce the number of acute exacerbations of COPD nor improve lung function.
According to the authors of an accompanying editorial, this study does not definitively refute the benefit of vitamin D supplements for reducing COPD exacerbations.
The editorial notes that variability in the underlying disease and genetics is likely to modify the pulmonary response to vitamin D supplementation in people with COPD, and calls for larger studies with longer follow up and daily dosing.