Smoking reduces vitamin D

Two pathways often proposed for smoking decreasing vitamin D:

  1. Smoking decreases Calcium. and Vitamin D is used up in replacing the Calcium
  2. Smoking injures the body, and vitamin D is used up in repairing the body

See also VitaminDWiki

From the web


Vitamin D deficiency in South Europe: effect of smoking and aging

Eugenia Cutillas-Marco1,*, Amparo Fuertes-Prosper2, William B. Grant3, Maria Morales-Suárez-Varela4,5
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine; Volume 28, Issue 3, pages 159–161, June 2012

From conclusion: Smoking was associated with an increased risk of hypovitaminosis D (odds ratio, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.00–3.35).

Many Studies mentioning Smoking and Vitamin D

The influence of smoking on vitamin D status and calcium metabolism

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition December 1999, Volume 53, Number 12, Pages 920-926

Results: Fifty percent were current smokers. Smokers had significantly reduced levels of serum 25OHD (P=0.02), 1,25(OH)2D (P=0.001), and PTH (P<0.001). There was no difference in serum ionized calcium between smokers and non-smokers. We found a negative effect of smoking on serum osteocalcin (P=0.01), while urinary pyridinolines were similar in the two groups. The small differences in lifestyle between the two groups could not explain these findings. Smokers had small but significant reductions in bone mineral density.

Vitamin D deficiency, Smoking, and Lung Function in the Normative Aging Study; 2012

Measurements and Main Results: In the overall cohort, there was no significant effect of vitamin D deficiency on lung function nor on lung function decline.
In both cross-sectional and longitudinal multivariable models there was effect modification by vitamin D status on the association between smoking and lung function.
Cross-sectional analysis revealed lower lung function in current smokers with vitamin D deficiency (FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC, p? 0.0002) and longitudinal analysis showed more rapid rates of decline in FEV1 (p=0.023) per pack-year of smoking in subjects with vitamin D deficiency as compared to subjects who were vitamin D sufficient.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency was associated with lower lung function and more rapid lung function decline in smokers over 20 years in this longitudinal cohort of elderly men. This suggests that vitamin D sufficiency may have a protective effect against the damaging effects of smoking on lung function. Future studies should seek to confirm this finding in the context of smoking and other exposures that affect lung function.

A few more Articles

Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is associated with increased risk for multiple sclerosis

Low vitamin D was 1.8 X more likely among smokers – June 2012

Accelerated Lung Function Decline in Smokers: Spotlight on Vitamin D Deficiency 2012

The effect of cigarette smoke exposure on vitamin D level and biochemical parameters of mothers and neonates May 2013

  • 9.4 ng smokers, 11 ng non-smokers; smoking also reduced Calcium levels

 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Inhibition of vitamin d receptor translocation by cigarette smoking extracts. Nov 2012, full text on-line

Passive smoking increases risk to unborn babies, study says March 9, 2011

  • passive smoking increased the risk of still birth by 23% and
  • was linked to a 13% increased risk of congenital birth defects.

Giving up smoking averts the adverse birth outcomes associated with tobacco July 2011

Quitting Smoking Before Pregnancy Could Save Babies' Lives 2010

Smoking (in upper right of chart) is just one of many reasons for lower vitamin D levels


Fact 1 Smoking decreases vitamin D
Fact 2 Low vitamin D is associated with mental illness
Hypothesis: smoking decreases vitamin D, which increases mental illness

  • one example above: Low vitamin D was 1.8 X more likely among smokers – June 2012
  • People With Mental Illness More Likely to Be Smokers, Study Finds NY Times Feb 2013
    40% of men and 34% of women with mental illness smoke.compared with one in five adults without mental illness
    Adults with mental illness smoke about a third of all the cigarettes in the United States

Note: Smoking also makes a person vitamin C deficient


Speculation by VitaminDWiki: Would people with adequate level of vitamin D be less likely to start smoking?

Having enough vitamin D might allow a person to quit smoking

1 page: How Does Vitamin D Assist Smoking Cessation?
Vitamin D is said to play a crucial role in the stop smoking process.
It is connected to dwindling rates of many forms of cancer, including lung cancer.
In his book titled:Quitting Cold: A Guide to Quit Smoking,” Carling Kalicak states that vitamin D is also good for bringing depression and stress to the barest minimum.
These 2 withdrawal symptoms (stress and depression) manifest in the first few days of smoking cessation.
Kalicak further recommends that smokers start consuming vitamin D supplements one to two weeks before dropping off cigarettes.

The Effectiveness of Vitamins at Helping You Quit Smoking Answers.com

Why is it beneficial to take vitamin A when quitting smoking?

It is no secret that smoking is disastrous for the lungs.
Studies have suggested that vitamin A helps bolster the minuscule hair-like objects in the lungs known as "cilia."
Cilia play an important role in cleaning and protecting the lungs.

How does vitamin C help for quitting smoking?

Like vitamin A, it is important to take vitamin C when recovering from a smoking addiction because it helps counteract some of the damage that tobacco use does to the body.
However, vitamin C also helps with nicotine cravings. While smoking has been shown to reduce the amount of vitamin C in the body, large doses of the vitamin potentially reduce cravings.

Why is vitamin D beneficial when quitting smoking?

Vitamin D has a wide range of health benefits, including being associated with lower rates of cancer.
This beneficial vitamin has also been proven to have mental health benefits, such as stress reduction.
Anybody who has attempted to quit smoking is able to tell you the importance of reducing stress during the process.


Magnesium supplements are sometimes recommended for those trying to quit smoking.
Taking magnesium helps ease anxiety and reduce intense nicotine cravings.

Smoking’s Toll on Health Is Even Worse Than Previously Thought, a Study Finds - Feb 2015

New York Times (nothing about vitamin D)

  • Previously 500,000 deaths/year from 21 diseases
    cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, liver, pancreas, larynx, lung, bladder, kidney, cervix, lip and oral cavity; acute myeloid leukemia; diabetes; heart disease; stroke; atherosclerosis; aortic aneurysm; other artery diseases; chronic lung disease; pneumonia; influenza; and tuberculosis.
  • Study added 60,000 deaths/year infection, kidney disease, intestinal disease caused by inadequate blood flow, and heart and lung ailments not previously attributed to tobacco.
  • Smokers on average, they die more than a decade before nonsmokers
  • Smokers were also six times more likely to die from a rare illness caused by insufficient blood flow to the intestines.
  • Study is behind a $20 paywall

A form of vitamin D actually counteracts the effects of cigarette smoke - March 2015

1α, 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 counteracts the effects of cigarette smoke in airway epithelial cells
Cellular Immunology, doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2015.03.004
Ruhui Zhanga, Haijin Zhaoa, Hangming Donga, Fei Zoub, Shaoxi Caia, ,
a Department of Respiratory, Chronic Airways Diseases Laboratory, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
b School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
Received 5 December 2014, Revised 18 February 2015, Accepted 13 March 2015, Available online 18 March 2015

Cigarette smoke extracts (CSE) alter calpain-1 expression via ERK signaling pathway in bronchial epithelial cells. 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3) inhibits cigarette smoke-induced epithelial barrier disruption.

This study was aimed to explore whether the 1,25D3 counteracted the CSE effects in a human bronchial epithelial cell line (16HBE). In particular, transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and permeability, expression and distribution of E-cadherin and β-catenin, calpain-1 expression, and ERK phosphorylation were assessed in the CSE-stimulated 16HBE cells. The CSE induced the ERK phosphorylation, improved the calpain-1 expression, increased the distribution anomalies and the cleaving of E-cadherin and β-catenin, and resulted in the TER reduction and the permeability increase. The 1,25D3 reduced these pathological changes. The 1,25D3 mediated effects were associated with a reduced ERK phosphorylation.

In conclusion, the present study provides compelling evidences that the 1,25D3 may be considered a possible valid therapeutic option in controlling the cigarette smoke-induced epithelial barrier disruption.

Publisher wants $42 for the PDF

Smokers with impared lung function were 2.4 X more likely to have level of vitamin D < 20 ng

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, smoking and lung function in adults: the HUNT Study. May 2015

Mice exposed to smoke for weeks, mice with low Vitamin D got many lung problems - Sept 2015

Vitamin D deficiency exacerbates COPD-like characteristics in the lungs of cigarette smoke-exposed mice

Vitamin D deficient diet <100 IU/kg17–20 ng/ml.
Control diet 1000 IU/kg 75–90 ng/ml

Mice exposed to the smoke were second generation mice on the diet
From Background
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic disease characterized by a progressive expiratory airflow limitation and is associated with chronic inflammation in the airways and lung parenchyma . In the majority of cases, this inflammatory response in COPD is initiated by long-term exposure to cigarette smoke (CS), which triggers a series of events that damage the airways and terminal airspaces, leading to lung function decline and emphysema.

A great many charts and microphotographs in the PDF
Details and PDF on VitaminDWiki

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