(HealthDay News) — High doses of vitamin D don’t protect children from upper respiratory tract infections in the winter, according to a study published in the July 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers had 354 healthy toddlers take the standard dose of vitamin D drops — 400 IU/day — as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for children aged 1 to 5. Another group of 349 healthy children received a high dose (2,000 IU/day) of the vitamin. The participants began taking the vitamin D drops in the fall of one year and continued taking them until spring of the following year.

The investigators found that the mean number of laboratory-confirmed upper respiratory tract infections per child was 1.05 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.19) for the high-dose group and 1.03 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.90 to 1.16) for the standard-dose group (incidence rate ratio [RR], 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.16). The team also found no significant difference in the median time to the first laboratory-confirmed infection, or number of parent-reported upper respiratory tract illnesses between groups.

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“These findings do not support the routine use of high-dose vitamin D supplementation in children for the prevention of viral upper respiratory tract infections,” the authors write.

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