According to WebMD, if you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you may have vitamin D levels below the normal level. One common reason is COPD patients spend less time outdoors. After all, the body’s top source of vitamin D is UV rays from the sun. This vitamin, which is important for strong bones, can also be taken in a dietary supplement, which may be recommended for COPD patients who are staying healthy with oxygen.
While vitamin D is mostly touted for its ability to support strong bones, it also contributes to healthy muscles. For example, low levels of vitamin D (under 20 mg/mL) are associated with slower walking speeds, poor balance and increased risk of falling.
Vitamin D and Your Lungs
WebMD points out a study from 2011 in which 50 patients were given either a high dose of vitamin D or a placebo pill. The study found that patients given vitamin D were able to exercise longer and harder than those taking the placebo.
WebMD references another study given around the same time in which 50 COPD patients with worsening symptoms were entered into a three-month pulmonary rehabilitation program and either put on a once-monthly vitamin D supplement or a placebo. After three months, the half taking high-dosage vitamin D supplements had greater muscle strength, stronger lungs and longer exercise capacity than the group taking the placebo.
Could you be prescribed vitamin D supplements?
These findings indicate a correlation between strong vitamin D levels and good lung capacity. However, some doctors believe they need more evidence before they begin making prescriptions. For example, your doctor will test your vitamin D levels before assuming you need more simply because you have COPD. WebMD states that climate, time spent outdoors and your diet impact the levels of vitamin D in your body. The daily recommended dose is 600 IU for adults up to age 70 and 800 IU daily for adults age 70 and over.
Want to get Vitamin D the natural way? Portable oxygen solutions can help you spend more time outdoors living an active and independent life. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget your sunscreen!