Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. There is no cure and treatment can be challenging. This condition is often associated with years or decades of cigarette smoking.
A new study suggests that low vitamin D levels are associated with worse symptoms of COPD. Of the nearly 500 participants in the study, 69% had insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D circulating in their bodies. This is defined as 30 ng/ml or less of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Those with the lowest levels of vitamin D had the worst emphysema symptoms.
As the scientists point out, this study established association, not causation. No one knows if vitamin D supplementation would alter the course of the disease.
[Respiratory Medicine, Oct. 2013]
If you are interested in sources of vitamin D and what constitutes a healthy blood level of this vitamin, you may wish to read our 8-page Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency.