A new study published in the journal Hormone Research in Pediatrics found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower among children with urinary tract infections compared to healthy children.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria from the large intestine invades the urethra and travels up to the bladder. UTIs are very common in women, so much so that some experts estimate that half of all women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and many will experience repeated infections.
Most UTIs can be easily treated by taking antibiotics and drinking water or cranberry juice to help flush the bacteria from your system. However, if the infection is left untreated, the bacteria continues its way up and can infect the kidneys.
Vitamin D helps fight infection by producing anti-microbial peptides. These peptides help the body destroy the cell walls of viruses and bacteria.
Therefore, researchers hypothesized that vitamin D may play a role in UTIs. In order to find evidence of this, researchers from Turkey compared the vitamin D levels of 64 healthy children with 82 children experiencing their first episode of an UTI.
The vitamin D levels were significantly lower in children with UTIs compared to healthy children, with average vitamin D levels of 11.7 ng/ml and 27.6 ng/ml, respectively. Children with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml were 3.5 times more likely to experience a UTI.