Benefits of Vitamin Supplementation in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

In patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, can supplementation with vitamins C, D, and E affect respiration, inflammation, and oxidative stress?

In patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), supplementing with a combination of vitamins C, D, and E may positively affect respiratory function and alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress, according to a study published in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN.

Airway inflammation, which is related to the pathogenesis and progression of IPF, may be treated with antioxidants, study authors noted, adding that vitamins with antioxidative properties, such as vitamins C and E, can directly inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Vitamins C and D have also been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects, said the study authors.

In the current study, researchers sought to investigate the simultaneous effect of supplementing with vitamins D, C, and E, which they said had not been previously studied in IPF patients. Toward that end, the researchers evaluated 33 IPF patients who received vitamins E, C, and D with 200 IU/daily, 250 mg/every other day, and 50000 IU/weekly, respectively, for 12 weeks.

The investigators found spirometry and plethysmography tests demonstrated a significant increase in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) (P =.016), inspiratory reserve volume (IRV) (P =.001), residual volume (RV) (P =.002), and total lung capacity (TLC) (P =.003); however, no significant change was seen in forced vital capacity (FVC), vital capacity (VC), forced expiratory volume percentage (FEV1/FVC), and expiratory reserve volume (ERV). The researchers also found that the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs CRP), transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), and protein carbonyl (PrC) were remarkably reduced after supplementation (P ≤.05), although the glutathione peroxidase (GPx) level remained unchanged.

The study authors concluded that 3 months of vitamin supplementation with combined D, C, and E vitamins may “positively affect the respiratory function and alleviate the inflammation and oxidative stress” in patients with IPF.


Yavari M, Javad Mousavi SA, Janani L, Feizy Z, Vafa M. Effects of supplementation of vitamins D, C and E on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF): a clinical trial. Clin Nutr ESPEN. Published online April 5, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2022.03.035