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What are the best ways for me to get more vitamin D if I have COPD?

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If your levels are too low, your doctor will probably prescribe supplements to get them where they need to be. There are several kinds. Your doctor can recommend the dose and type that are most likely to help with your COPD and your overall health.

Some people think an easy way to get more vitamin D is to get more sunlight. While it's true that sun exposure creates vitamin D, be careful. Too much can cause skin cancer and other types of skin damage.

Some foods rich in vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and fortified milk and orange juice, can help. It may make sense to add them to your diet, but it can be hard to reach healthy levels through diet alone.

Another way to get more vitamin D is to quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoke makes it harder for your body to absorb vitamin D.

SOURCES:

Thorax: “Vitamin D to prevent exacerbations of COPD: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised controlled trials.”

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Vitamin D.”

National Emphysema Foundation: “Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalent in Chronic Lung Patients.”

MedlinePlus: “Vitamin D Deficiency,” “Vitamin D Test.”  

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Vitamin D status is associated with muscle strength and quality of life in patients with COPD: a seasonal prospective observation study.”

American Thoracic Society: “Exacerbation of COPD.”

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Exacerbations of COPD.”

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin D.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Vitamin D Deficiency: Management and Treatment,” “Vitamin D Deficiency.”  

Yale Medicine: “Vitamin D Myths ‘D’-bunked.”

Mayo Clinic: “What is vitamin D toxicity? Should I be worried about taking supplements?”

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on July 27, 2020

SOURCES:

Thorax: “Vitamin D to prevent exacerbations of COPD: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised controlled trials.”

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Vitamin D.”

National Emphysema Foundation: “Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalent in Chronic Lung Patients.”

MedlinePlus: “Vitamin D Deficiency,” “Vitamin D Test.”  

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Vitamin D status is associated with muscle strength and quality of life in patients with COPD: a seasonal prospective observation study.”

American Thoracic Society: “Exacerbation of COPD.”

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: “Exacerbations of COPD.”

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin D.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Vitamin D Deficiency: Management and Treatment,” “Vitamin D Deficiency.”  

Yale Medicine: “Vitamin D Myths ‘D’-bunked.”

Mayo Clinic: “What is vitamin D toxicity? Should I be worried about taking supplements?”

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on July 27, 2020

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Why don't people who have COPD get enough vitamin D?

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