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Vitamin D and critical illness outcomes

Kenneth B Christopher
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2016, 22 (4): 332-8

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although low vitamin D levels have been shown to be a risk factor for adverse outcomes in critical care, it is not clear to date if supplementation can alter such outcomes in all ICU patients. The focus of vitamin D research now is on interventional trials to identify a critically ill patient subset who may benefit from high-dose vitamin D supplementation.

RECENT FINDINGS: The VITdAL-ICU trial, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single center trial of 475 heterogeneous critically ill patients, did not show improvement in hospital length of stay or overall mortality but did demonstrate in a secondary outcome that high-dose oral vitamin D3 improved mortality in patients with severe vitamin D deficiency.

SUMMARY: Vitamin D supplementation may represent a personalized and targeted therapy for critical illness. Vitamin D regulates over 1000 genes in the human genome, and the mechanism of action is influenced by gene polymorphisms and epigenetics. The study of the metabolomics, transcriptomics and epigenetics of vitamin D status and supplementation holds promise generating insights into critical illness outcomes.


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