Vitamin D, multinutrients may boost lung health for COPD sufferers

By Claudia Adrien

- Last updated on GMT

© Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images
© Helin Loik-Tomson / Getty Images

Related tags Copd Lung Vitamin d

supplementation of vitamin D alone or a multinutrient combination may significantly improve lung function and disease severity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to findings published in Nutrients.

Chinese researchers conducted a meta-analysis that showed supplementation with vitamin D by itself had a positive effect on lung function and immunity for patients, such as with FEV 1 (forced expiratory volume, or the air that is exhaled in one second) and FEV1/FVC (the ratio of the forced expiratory volume in the first one second compared to the forced vital capacity of the lungs).

Vitamin D reduced acute exacerbations and improved the levels of T cells. 

“Vitamin D relieves airway inflammation and can also improve lung function by promoting cell multiplication and reducing cell apoptosis,” the researchers wrote. “Vitamin D can protect the innate immunity and adaptive immune system in the epithelial mucosa, which is reflected in maintaining the integrity of the epithelial mucosa, inhibiting nuclear factor (NF)-κB in epithelial cells and reducing the expression of cytokines.”

As for multinutrients, the analysis showed that compound nutrients significantly increased FEV1/FVC in COPD patients when compared to the control group.

Micronutrient intake

Globally, COPD is the third leading cause of death, according to the Lancet​. The lung disease results in constant respiratory symptoms and obstructs airflow. It is often a condition caused by chronic smoking.

“Oxidative stress is the main driving mechanism of COPD pathogenesis; oxidative stress in the lungs comes from exogenous oxidative stress caused by exposure to smoking or air pollution in and around the city, as well as endogenous oxidative stress generated by activated inflammatory cells, especially neutrophils,” the researchers noted. “Treating oxidative stress with antioxidants or enhancing endogenous antioxidants should be an effective strategy to treat the underlying pathogenesis of COPD.”

For patients with COPD, nutrient consumption is just as critical as vitamin D intake. Micronutrients play a crucial role in regulating immune function and anti-inflammatory effects. However, micronutrient intake is often inadequate, according to the researchers. Patients with decreased immune function are prone to bacterial and viral infections, leading to worsening clinical symptoms and an increase in the frequency of acute exacerbations.

“It was shown that the intake of calcium, potassium, folate, retinol and thiamine was lower than recommended dietary allowance in over 75% of COPD patients,” the researchers wrote. “The intake of vitamins A, C, D, E, B12, carotenoids and magnesium all have protective effects on the loss of lung function, such as improving the average level of lung function and reducing the rate of decline of lung function indicators.”

What the study didn’t find

The researchers examined 43 journal articles published between 1997 and 2022 with a total of 4,094 participants. There were 2,225 COPD patients in the experiment group and 2,069 in the control group. Patients were treated either alone with vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium or with complex nutrient intervention. 

Supplementing with vitamins C and E alone did not have a sizable effect on lung function. Magnesium did reduce patients’ degree of inflammation, but other mineral interventions alone in COPD patients have not been adequately described, said the researchers. 

“Due to the small number of articles on vitamin C and vitamin E supplementation alone in people with COPD, our results showed no significant effect on improving lung function and need to be further confirmed by large and well-designed prospective randomized controlled trials,” the researchers added. “Consequently, it is recommended that patients with COPD can properly supplement vitamin D or complex nutrients on the basis of basic treatment.”

Source: Nutrients
2024, 16​(7), 1028, doi: 10.3390/nu16071028
“Improvement of Lung Function by Micronutrient Supplementation in Patients with COPD: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”
Authors: Mingxin Li et al.

Related news

Related products

show more

Optimize Nutritional Value with DuraLipo™

Optimize Nutritional Value with DuraLipo™

Content provided by INNOBIO Corporation Limited | 02-May-2024 | White Paper

INNOBIO's DuraLipo™ products encapsulates active ingredients within phospholipids, forming a genuine phospholipid bilayer structure.

Vitafoods Europe highlight: Fucoidan

Vitafoods Europe highlight: Fucoidan

Content provided by Marinova Pty Ltd | 08-Apr-2024 | Infographic

Fucoidans are bioactive compounds found naturally in brown seaweeds. Maritech® fucoidans are the world’s only high purity, certified organic fucoidans...

Innovation in convenient formats: vegan gummies

Innovation in convenient formats: vegan gummies

Content provided by Cambridge Commodities | 05-Mar-2024 | Product Brochure

Supplements and vitamins in pill form have been around for decades, but consumers are now seeking alternatives that fit with their busy lifestyles and...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more