A recent randomized controlled trial found that high dose vitamin D supplementation decreased the hospital length of stay for critical care patients.
There is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among hospitalized patients due to a lack of physical activity and sun exposure. Research has found that low vitamin D levels relate to an increased risk of infection, prolonged length of stay and hospital mortality in critical care patients.
Researchers recently conducted a randomized controlled trial of 31 critical care patients. The patients were divided into three groups: two groups received high doses of vitamin D (250,000 IU or 500,000 IU over five days) and one received a placebo.
The researchers found that the hospital length of stay was inversely related to the vitamin D dose. The average hospital length of stay was 36 days for placebo, 25 days for those who took 250,000 IU and 18 days for those who took 500,000 IU.
Additionally, the length of stay in intensive care also decreased with the higher dose of vitamin D; however, this finding was insignificant.
The authors concluded,
“These data can inform the design of a larger, adequately powered randomized controlled trial on the efficacy of high-dose vitamin D3 on host immunity and other indices associated with recovery.”