Skip to comments.Vitamin D improves exercise outcomes in patients with COPD
Posted on 05/15/2011 5:41:10 PM PDT by decimon
ATS 2011, DENVER Vitamin D supplements may help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) get more from their pulmonary rehabilitation programs, according to a study conducted by researchers from Belgium.
The study results will be presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.
"Our study shows that high doses of vitamin D supplementation on top of a standard rehabilitation program improve the outcome in terms of exercise capacity and respiratory muscle strength," said Miek Hornikx, physiotherapist and doctoral student in the department of pneumology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among patients with COPD, and is often associated with lack of exposure to sunlight and diet. COPD patients also often have limited physical activity as a result of breathing difficulties associated with the disease, which also may result in less exposure to sunlight, Ms. Hornikx explained.
"COPD can be considered as a respiratory disease with important non-respiratory consequences, such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and muscle weakness," she said. "These consequences eventually will be negatively influenced by physical inactivity which, along with exercise intolerance, is a common feature among patients with COPD and is proven to be related to mortality.
"Low levels of vitamin D in the blood have been related with muscle weakness, a major target for respiratory rehabilitation and increased risk of falls," she added "Since vitamin D is often depleted in patients with COPD, we wanted to see if vitamin D supplementation would have a beneficial effect on rehabilitation among these patients, perhaps by increasing muscle strength."
The researchers enrolled 50 COPD patients with a history of exacerbations who had been referred for rehabilitation and randomly assigned them to receive either a monthly dose of vitamin D or placebo. Patients in the vitamin D group were given 100,000 IUs (international units) of vitamin D in their monthly dose; the U.S. recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 600 IUs daily for adults up to age 70 and 800 IUs daily for adults over age 70.
All patients participated in a pulmonary rehabilitation program for three months. At the beginning of the study and again at the completion of the rehabilitation program, peripheral and respiratory muscle strength, exercise capacity and vitamin D levels were measured. Patients were also asked to complete a quality of life survey both before and after rehabilitation.
At the end of the study, researchers found that patients treated with vitamin D had a significant improvement in exercise capacity and respiratory muscle strength compared to those in the placebo group.
"These results support the idea that correcting vitamin D deficiency by adding vitamin D supplements to training programs allows COPD patients to achieve better results from rehabilitation, including improvements in muscle strength and exercise capacity," Ms. Hornikx said.
Interestingly, despite significant improvements in exercise capacity in patients treated with vitamin D, those patients did not report a significant increase in health-related quality of life.
"This could be due to the fact that we had a relatively small number of patients included in this study, as well as to the relatively brief duration of the study," Ms. Hornikx said. Future studies should focus on the specific mechanisms by which vitamin D affects patients with COPD, she added.
"Vitamin D Supplementation During Rehabilitation In Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: An Intervention Study" (Session B17, Monday, May 16, 8:15-10:45 a.m., Room 201-203 (Street Level), Colorado Convention Center; Abstract 17477)
* Please note that numbers in this release may differ slightly from those in the abstract. Many of these investigations are ongoing; the release represents the most up-to-date data available at press time.
I'm not sure what this means. Are they saying that the patients went in once a month and took 100,000 IUs all at once, or that they spread it out over the course of a month, and therefore took about 3,300 IUs a day? The article isn't really clear.
I don't know but that was taken directly from the American Thoracic Society release. The PDF is here.
Interesting..thanks for posting it.. I have COPD and I have VERY low Vit D which I pretty much ignored.. I guess its time to mega dose and see if it helps at the gym
Well, don't over mega. ;-)
May I ask how much daily you're thinking of?
Mom, not just for this, but for any number of other things according to the MDs in these parts, is to put on shorts and a tank top and go out in the sun. The trick is that soap seems to wash the hormone off the skin before it’s absorbed, so it is recommended to only wash the areas where the glands are close to the surface to let the vit D soak in. Any number of people I know here are under orders to raise their levels and with some supplementation, this is the recommended method.
I was wondering the same thing. It would seem to me that a 100,000 IU of vitamin D would be like eating sticks of chalk if it was in one dose.
Doctor recommended 5,000 units ..I was thinking maybe double that
I actually spend time in the sun when I see it in Buffalo ..I garden and walk ... maybe I need more.. You know its funny, there are always unintended consequences. They tell people to wear sun block and suddenly there is an epidemic of low vit D ..DUH...
Exactly. Since I’ve eliminated grains, legumes and the vast majority of sugar from my diet, I don’t really use sunblock any more. I don’t burn like I used to. But, I’m still careful about being in the sun having an Irish complexion.
5,000 a day would be 150,000 IU a month.
I was just reading a book on Vit D, I believe the author recommended supplementing at 1,000- 2,000 IU daily. There was a chart showing a level at which the Vit D has some toxicity. It’s a high level, but please ask your doctor before doubling a recommended 5,000 IU.
Because I live in a state where it rains a great deal of the time - Washington - sunshine is scarce.
I take 4000 IU of D3 a day, and have been doing so for years. So far no harmful side effects.
Depending on who you read, 10,000IU daily may be too high if taken for very long. Blood tests are probably the only way to know for sure. At any rate, good luck with it.
This is about the 6th vitamin D article I’ve seen in the last couple of months on FR. I’m starting to realize it’s a very critical nutrient.
It's been a common topic for years.
True, but all the new research is connecting it with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, energy and a whole lot of other things. It’s mind boggling that there could be such a simple answer to a great host of problems.