The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Vitamin D and respiratory infection risk

    Circumstantial evidence implicates the wintertime deficiency of vitamin D from too little sunlight, with an increase in colds and flu.

    Researchers from Denver, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts looked for an association.

    First, the details.

    • Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) were reviewed.
    • The survey included 18,883 participants.
    • Blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) — the best measure of vitamin D status — were compared with the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections.
    • Confounding factors (season, body mass index, smoking history, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) were considered in the review.

    And, the results.

    • Those with the lowest vitamin D blood levels — less than 10 ng per milliliter of blood — were about 40% more likely to report a recent respiratory infection vs those with vitamin D levels of 30 or higher.
    • The association was present in all seasons.
    • The association was stronger in those with a history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema.
      • Asthma patients with the lowest vitamin D levels were 5 times more likely to have had a recent respiratory infection.
      • Among COPD patients, respiratory infections were twice as common among those with vitamin D deficiency.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded that those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D were at greatest risk of getting a respiratory tract infection.

    Next step? Another study where participants are followed in real time, say the authors.

    3/1/09 23:09 JR

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