Life Extension Foundation supported trial finds 7,000 IU vitamin D improves immunological parameters in HIV-positive individuals

Jan 08, 2015, 10:00 ET from Life Extension Foundation

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Virginia A. Stallings and colleagues from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia published a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which treatment with a 7,000 IU vitamin D3 product benefited HIV-positive children and young adults. The vitamin D supplements used in the trial were provided by the Life Extension Foundation. The publication, titled "High-Dose Vitamin D3 Supplementation in Children and Young Adults with HIV: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial," was published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Over a 12-month period, 50 HIV-positive individuals aged 5 to 24.9 years were given 7,000 IU of vitamin D3 or placebo daily. Blood tests showed that 95% of study participants had suboptimal vitamin D blood levels at baseline.  Vitamin D3 supplementation increased average serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels from 18 ng/mL at baseline to 32 ng/mL at three months. After the 12-month study period, vitamin D3 subjects maintained a 12 ng/mL increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels compared to placebo. The supplement dosage was also observed to be safe in this population.

Several measures of immune function improved with vitamin D3 supplementation compared with placebo. There was an increase in the percentage of naïve T helper cells, CD4+ cells, and a reduction in RNA viral load at several time points during the study.

"It's encouraging to see that high-dose vitamin D3 improved important aspects of immune function in these HIV-positive study participants without causing any major side effects. This study certainly supports further research into the use of high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation for individuals with HIV," says Dr. Steven Hirsh, director of clinical research for Life Extension.

Life Extension Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding new scientific methods to enhance and expand the healthy human life span. It funds research programs aimed at developing new anti-aging therapies and combating such age-related killers as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. The Life Extension Foundation has donated over $125 million to anti-aging and disease prevention studies. 

SOURCE Life Extension Foundation