Effect of vitamin D supplementation on antibiotic use: A randomized controlled trial

Bich Tran, Bruce K. Armstrong, Peter R. Ebeling, Dallas R. English, Michael G. Kimlin, Jolieke C. Van Der Pols, Alison Venn, Val Gebski, David C. Whiteman, Penelope M. Webb, Rachel E. Neale

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Abstract

Background: Observational data suggested that supplementation with vitamin D could reduce risk of infection, but trial data are inconsistent. Objective: We aimed to examine the effect of oral vitamin D supplementation on antibiotic use. Design: We conducted a post hoc analysis of data from pilot D-Health, which is a randomized trial carried out in a general community setting between October 2010 and February 2012. A total of 644 Australian residents aged 60-84 y were randomly assigned to receive monthly doses of a placebo (n = 214) or 30,000 (n = 215) or 60,000 (n = 215) IU oral cholecalciferol for ≤12 mo. Antibiotics prescribed during the intervention period were ascertained by linkage with pharmacy records through the national health insurance scheme (Medicare Australia). Results: People who were randomly assigned 60,000 IU cholecalciferol had nonsignificant 28% lower risk of having antibiotics prescribed at least once than did people in the placebo group (RR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.48, 1.07). In analyses stratified by age, in subjects aged ≥70 y, there was a significant reduction in antibiotic use in the high-dose vitamin D compared with placebo groups (RR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.90), whereas there was no effect in participants aged <70 y (RR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.58, 1.97) (P-interaction = 0.1). Conclusion: Although this study was a post hoc analysis and statistically nonsignificant, this trial lends some support to the hypothesis that supplementation with 60,000 IU vitamin D/mo is associated with lower risk of infection, particularly in older adults. The trial was registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (anzctr.org.au) as ACTRN12609001063202.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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