British Lung Foundation
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Vitamin D

I've been reading a COPD blog that Caroloctober kindly linked to in a recent reply and the blogger mentioned that taking 5000 IU of Vitamin D daily has helped in that it builds up the immune system, meaning less general illness and seems to keep most colds away, also any cold clearing quickly and most likely without giving an exacerbation.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has tried Vit D and found it helps in any way at all? And is it Vit D3?

I take Osteocare which has D3 in it at the rate of 10 mcg per dose of two tablets daily. Not sure how that compares with 5000 IU.

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18 Replies

I'm taking D3 on a daily basis, under hospital consultant supervision. I have been diagnosed as being vitamin D deficient.

I was using a bought tablet type that also contained calcium, but was advised to go for the 'pure' capsule D3 instead.

It does not suit everyone, worth checking with your GP first ?

Thanks Gordon. I've got it on my ever lengthening list to discuss with the COPD nurse at my next appt in a couple of weeks.

I've just used an online converter and the amount of D3 in the Osteocare appears to be 400 IU so way below the strength recommended on the blog and also what appears to be available OTC, a lot of those are 5000 IU.

Have you found that taking D3 has had any kind of effect/improvement in your case? Or maybe it was prescribed because you were showing a deficiency and they wanted you to be within the "normal" range.

I take a 3000iu capsule daily which I buy via ebay - - from a company I trust here in Yorkshire. The upper limit is supposed to be 4000iu per day so, allowing for the natural production, I'm probably in that region.

It was through these blogs that I heard about D3 (Cholecalciferol), and its potential benefit in preventing things like Rickets and Osteoporosis.

Is vitamin d sun shine one .. Thats why thay give school kids or use to free milk

Could be wrong but sure am not .. But you do need to be care full becouse you can over do it need to chat to your GP if your after doing it regular

All the best :)

Thanks Daz. Yes, Vit D is the sunshine vitamin. I wont be getting any, I will discuss it with the COPD nurse at my next appt. I was just curious as to whether any members were supplementing and if it had made a difference.

I'm usually outdoors for up to two hours every day with my dog so I already get plenty of sunshine (when it's out!).

Pity we don't all get blood tests to check vitamin and other levels as a matter of course when a chronic illness is diagnosed as a deficiency in anything might mean we can't cope as well with an illness.

thanks seaside suzy you have reminded me why i moved from a flat into a bungalow with a kitchen overlooking a sunny garden....after months of stress getting moved the benefits of getting real sun will do me wonders. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with low vit d levels.on fultiumD3 800IU once a my 1st fibro meeting 3 years ago i was told to get llevels done...wish i had done so. i am assuming my iimmunine system will get stronger?

Yes me and gordon was talking about such things like vitimans iron ph levals and is all relavent but not talked about ... Well apart from eating healthy but with benafit cut bedroom tax council tax rises .. Looks like GP are going to have to take proactive steps on subject

All the best :)

I take vit D3. I also take multi-vits as well. The overdose limit is a long way over the RDA (Recommended Daily Amount). Take care if taking multi-vits containing trace metals as these can stop antibiotics working.

Vitamin D3 takes a while to build up in the body. When I started using it, it took about three weeks before I noticed any effects.

breathe easy


Can I ask what effects you noticed John? I don't take anything other than Osteocare.

Hi john, your comment is interesting about antibiotics stop working with too many vits, I have recently had problem with antibiotics not working and having to take a stronger dose, I take D3 multi-vits cod liver oil and fish oil, I always thought I was helping myself to keep reasonably well, is that not the case?

Best wishes to you


Hi Ju,

The problem is not the vitamins, it's the trace metals, iron, zinc, magnesium, aluminium. So beware also of antacid or indigestion remedies. Calcium can also be a problem.

If your antibiotic is not working, ask you doctor, are you taking the right antibiotic for the infection? Also, is the course long enough? I find that with doxicycline, I need a minimum of seven days at twice a day. If that does not work, then a sample to the lab, and change to ciprofloxacin or clarithromycin. Infections for us with COPD are more complex than for most people, because of the other drugs we take.

Best recommendation? Read the leaflets that come with your medicine.

Breathe easy


Thank you john, your advice very helpful.

Take care x

Just generally felt stronger, and a head cold type infection I'd had for a month or two cleared up.

Buy mine from Holland and Barret.


Taking D3+ is working for me, I don't feel so tired and depressed,it gives me alot more energy too, I heard about it on these blogs as well,got mine on amazon website.

I first started to take Vitamin D3 after I had read an article that said research had shown that it was likely that people with COPD tended to have low levels of Vitamin D. My GP at the time (I have sacked him and move on now) was not interested and told me I shouldn't get to excited about what you read on the internet. I had a test done by an NHS Hospital which does a home finger-prick test for £25

Mine came back showing I was severely deficient with a reading of 10. Adequate is greater than 50. I went back to my GP and he huffed and puffed and eventually gave in and had me tested by the NHS and this confirmed it. He started me off with a 6000 iu daily for a month and then 1000 iu a day as a maintenance dose. My level went up to insufficient 42.

He would not do any more so I took over and since last July have been taking 2500 iu per day. I have just had another test and this showed insufficient. I now plan to increase my dose to 3500 iu daily.

At least now I have not been severely deficient and I have felt better. During the summer I was sunbathing without sunscreen for 20 minutes a day, obviously that's not possible in winter. I am retired btw so have the time.

I have multiple health problems such as COPD, Diabetic on insulin, a recent by pass with continuing unstable angina and Hypothyroid. There seems to be an abundance of evidence that Vitamin D is essential

One of best sites I have found is

Hope this helps



Thanks David, that's very interesting. Vit D is on my list of questions to discuss when I go to see the nurse at the COPD clinic. I'll have a look through the VitD Council website.

Hi David

One of the things I know about vit D is that its fat soluble, so is not found in skimmed milk. I have been taking vit D pills and take them with a small high fat treat! e.g cheese, full fat milk etc. This may just be silly but it seems to me that vit D maybe needs to be in a fatty/oily substance to be absorbed.

Also btw liver a VERY good source of natural vitamin D ... so much so that pregnant women now not recommended to eat it as excess vit D is bad for growing baby.... I love liver and onions!


Funnily enough I started to drink only full fat Milk after I read an article that said you can add skimmed and semi skimmed milk to the list of processed foods. I would like to think that full fat milk has a better class of Vitamin D than the skimmed versions. Besides it tastes much nicer, porridge is beautiful with full fat. I have taken to having cocoa made of milk for a nightcap and I am sleeping so much better. More important is that I am not putting more weight on and I am not concious of compensating with restrictions on other things I eat

I have read a lot of research which shows that taking 10,000 iu of Vitamin does not harm and some people take massive doses once a week. I am just increasing gradually and see what my personal tipping point is.

I am doing this in order to get myself to a sufficient level in view of my Thyroid, heart,Diabetes and COPD problems, anything to help the body cope with them.



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