PneumoniaVitamin D levels

Randomized controlled trials have shown that taking 1000-2000 IU/day during the influenza season greatly reduce the risk of pneumonia.

There is good evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for pneumonia.

For example, a study in Ethiopia found that children under the age of 5 years diagnosed with pneumonia were 13 times more likely to have rickets as those without pneumonia1. Pneumonia is also frequently found in children with rickets2. Vitamin D deficiency is the primary cause of rickets.

Pneumonia often develops in those who contract influenza3 4, and vitamin D deficiency is an important risk factor for influenza5 6 7.

Page last edited: 06 May 2011


  1. Muhe, L. Lulseged, S. Mason, K. E. Simoes, E. A. Case-control study of the role of nutritional rickets in the risk of developing pneumonia in Ethiopian children. Lancet. 1997 Jun 21; 349 (9068): 1801-4.
  2. Banajeh, S. M. Nutritional rickets and vitamin D deficiency--association with the outcomes of childhood very severe pneumonia: a prospective cohort study. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2009 Dec; 44 (12): 1207-15.
  3. Britten, R. H. The incidence of epidemic influenza, 1918-19. Pub Health Rep. 1932; 47303-39.
  4. Hanslik, T. Boelle, P. Y. Flahault, A. Preliminary estimation of risk factors for admission to intensive care units and for death in patients infected with A(H1N1)2009 influenza virus, France, 2009-2010. PLoS Curr Influenza. RRN1150.
  5. Cannell, J. J. Vieth, R. Umhau, J. C. Holick, M. F. Grant, W. B. Madronich, S. Garland, C. F. Giovannucci, E. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec; 134 (6): 1129-40.
  6. Cannell, J. J. Zasloff, M. Garland, C. F. Scragg, R. Giovannucci, E. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008; 529.
  7. Sabetta, J. R. DePetrillo, P. Cipriani, R. J. Smardin, J. Burns, L. A. Landry, M. L. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections in healthy adults. PLoS One. 5 (6): e11088.