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J Nutr Health Aging. 2018;22(4):491-500. doi: 10.1007/s12603-017-0952-x.

Intake of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Reduces Duration and Severity of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Comparison Study.

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Yoshiki Shimizu, FANCL Research Institute, FANCL Corporation, 12-13 Kamishinano, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 244-0806, Japan; Tel.: +81-45-820-3755; Fax: +81-45-820-3526; E-mail:



This study aimed to assess the effect of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD) which is a hydroxide of vitamin D3 ingestion on upper respiratory tract infection (URTI).


A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed from December 2015 to September 2016 in the Nihonbashi Egawa Clinic, Kei Medical Office TOC Building Medical Clinic, and Medical Corporation Kaiseikai Kita-Shinyokohama Medical Clinic, in Japan.


Four hundred twenty eight participants aged 45-74 years were screened by their serum 25-hydoroxyvitamin D concentration.


The participants were randomized to either 25OHD (10 μg/day) or placebo capsule, daily, for 16 consecutive weeks.


The primary outcome measure was the incidence proportion of URTI, and the secondary outcome measures were the physical severity score, the quality-of-life (QOL) score, the duration of URTI, and the incidence proportion of new URTI events every four weeks. Data were collected using cold diary Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 (WURSS-21) during the intervention.


Of 428 participants screened, 252 with serum 25-hydroxyvitamn D levels were deficient or insufficient (75 nmol/L or less) were enrolled in this study. Of these, 105 placebo and 110 25OHD group subjects completed the study. For the incidence proportion of URTI, no effect of 25OHD intake was observed. On the other hand, the duration of URTI was shorter in the 25OHD (P = 0.061) compared to placebo. For the incidence proportion of URTI every four weeks, the incidence of new URTI was decreased in both groups over the time of intake. However, when the 25OHD and the placebo were compared, a decrease in the incidence proportion of URTI was seen earlier in the 25OHD. When the total physical severity score and the total QOL score during the study were assessed, they both were significantly improved in the 25OHD compared to placebo.


The intake of 25OHD may reduce the duration of URTI, the physical severity, and the QOL when suffering from URTI.


25-hydroxycholecalciferol; 25-hydroxyvitamin D3; calcifediol; common cold; upper respiratory tract infection; vitamin D3

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Conflict of interest statement

This study was conducted with funds from FANCL Corporation (FANCL). 25OHD used in this study was provided for free by DSM Nutritional Products, Ltd. YS, YI, and KY are employees of FANCL. Based on the results of this study, FANCL has applied for a patent. YS and YI are inventors in patent law. FANCL has paid a supervision fee to HO. There are no other conflicts of interest to be noted.

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