Vitamin D and Respiratory Infections

What you need to know

If you are looking for safe and natural ways to improve your health. Give our office a call at (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help!

Vitamin D and respiratory infections


A common question I get is…”what they can do to not get sick and how much vitamin D they should be taking?”

Vitamin D affects the immune system, aids in bone health, and offers some protection against chronic diseases. Low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk for type 1 diabetes, certain cancers, and poor bone health.

What is vitamin D’s role in immune health?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts more like a steroid hormone. We get vitamin D from exposure to the sun or supplementation, but levels are often found to be lower in certain populations or those who live in such areas as the Pacific Northwest. Vitamin D helps support the immune system by helping the “killer cells” of the immune system do their job of fighting off invaders (bulletproof).

Read Dr. Heintze’s previous post here on Benefits of Vitamin D

Protection against acute respiratory infections

In a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, it appears that vitamin D does help prevent acute respiratory infections.

The study analyzed twenty-five random control trials that involved 11, 321 participants. These trials were randomized, double-blind, placebo-control trials with vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D3). Vitamin D supplementation was found to be more protective for those with baseline vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, <25 nmol/L) than those with normal vitamin D levels, but taking daily or weekly doses of vitamin D benefited both groups. Vitamin D supplementation was determined to be safe and helped protect against acute respiratory infection for those with low and even normal vitamin D levels.

Since this was a systematic review of research studies, the exact dose or dosing guidelines for respiratory tract infection were not made clear. The findings are helpful, however, in providing more information about vitamin D’s role in immune health and prevention. We already know the daily recommended dose of vitamin D and how to correct for vitamin D deficiencies.

The first step is to have your vitamin D levels checked to know if you are low or in the normal range. This information will give your doctor data to know how to prescribe the correct dose of vitamin D for your optimal health.

If you are looking for safe and natural ways to improve your health. Give our office a call at (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help!


Martineau, et al. “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.” BMJ 2017; 356:i6583.

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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