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Vitamin D helps prevent ear infections, according to new trial

Posted on: September 12, 2013   by  Vitamin D Council


New data presented at the 2013 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy says vitamin D can help with recurrent ear infections.

Ear infections, known as acute otitis media infections (AOM), can develop from upper respiratory infections and when the middle ear gets infected with bacteria. Children that get these ear infections often have what is called recurrent acute otitis media, or just recurrent ear infections.

“The supplementation with vitamin D increased serum levels, and this increase is significantly associated with a reduction in the total number of AOM episodes,” Susanna Esposito, MD, of the University of Milan, said during a press conference. “However, it was interesting because we observed that the positive effect is significant in the group of children with recurrent AOM and lowering the risk of uncomplicated episodes of AOM.”

The researchers randomized 116 children to receive either 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D or placebo for four months.

They found that the children who received the vitamin D experienced less ear infections than the placebo group. They also found those who took vitamin D were less likely to have ear infection associated complications.

“Of course, some more studies are needed in order to identify whether in healthy children you can reduce the risk of AOM generally, not the risk of recurrences, in relation to vitamin D serum levels,” Esposito said. “More studies are needed to see if we can increase the population that can have a benefit from receiving vitamin D supplementation.”


Esposito S. Abstract G-1249. Presented at: ICAAC 2013; Sept. 9-13, 2013; Denver.

Healio. Vitamin D supplementation decreased risk for recurrent AOM, 2013.

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