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30 percent fewer infections of middle ear (otitis media) with 1000 IU of vitamin D – RCT May 2013

Vitamin D Supplementation Reduces the Risk of Acute Otitis Media in Otitis-Prone Children.

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 May 20.
Marchisio P, Consonni D, Baggi E, Zampiero A, Bianchini S, Terranova L, Tirelli S, Esposito S, Principi N.

  • 1 Pediatric Clinic 1, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy;
  • 2 Epidemiology Unit, Department of Preventive Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 3Laboratory Medicine Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a deficit in vitamin D (VD) is associated with an increased risk of recurrent acute otitis media (rAOM), and whether VD supplementation is effective in reducing the number of AOM episodes in otitis-prone children.

METHODS: A total of 116 children with a history of rAOM (≥3 episodes in preceding six months, or ≥4 episodes in preceding 12 months) were prospectively and blindly randomized to receive oral VD 1,000 IU/day or placebo for 4 months. Episodes of AOM were monitored for 6 months.

RESULTS: Fifty-eight children received placebo and 58 with similar characteristics were treated with VD. The number of children experiencing ≥1 AOM episode during the study period was significantly lower in the treatment group (26 vs 38; p=0.03). There was a marked difference in the number of children who developed uncomplicated AOM (p<0.001), but no difference in the number of children with ≥1 episode of spontaneous otorrhea. The likelihood of AOM was significantly reduced in the patients whose serum VD concentrations were ≥30 ng/mL.

CONCLUSIONS: VD hypovitaminosis is common in children with rAOM and associated with an increase in the occurrence of AOM when serum 25(OH)D levels are <30 ng/mL. The administration of VD in a dosage of 1,000 IU/day restores serum values of ≥30 ng/mL in most cases and is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of uncomplicated AOM.

PMID: 23694840

8 minute video by one of the authors


See also VitaminDWiki

Summary by VitaminDWiki

  • 58 pairs of children who tended to get middle ear infection
  • 26 got infection with vitamin D
  • 38 got infection with placebo
  • Thus ~ 30% reduction in middle ear infection with 1,000 IU of vitamin D

Comment by VitaminDWiki: Even fewer ear infections if had

  • Started with a loading dose, thus eliminating about 3 months of ear infections. (guess 45% instead of 30%)
  • Used a large dose of vitamin D (guess 70% if had used 2,000 IU of vitamin D)
  • Focused on high-risk children: dark skins. high latitude, etc. (guess 70% instead of 30%)

See also web

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