Daily intake of vitamin D and calcium may help reduce the risk of positional vertigo, according to the results of a new South Korean study.

According to a new scientific study, published on August 5 in the journal Neurology, vitamin D and calcium are not only beneficial for the bones. They could jointly help reduce the occurrence of vertigo, and more specifically benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

This type of vertigo involves one or more semicircular canals of the inner ear, and is triggered by sudden changes in the position of the head. Rotating, it gives the impression that the room and the objects it contains suddenly begin to revolve around you, and persists for less than a minute. Although benign, this positional vertigo tends to recur despite the intervention of an ENT doctor.

The study here included 957 South Koreans with BPPV who were successfully treated with rotational head movements by an ENT doctor. The participants were divided into two groups, “intervention” and “observation”.

All 445 people in the intervention group had their vitamin D levels measured at the start of the study. The 348 people whose vitamin D levels were below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng / ml) started taking supplements with 400 international units of vitamin D and 500 milligrams of calcium twice a day, while those whose levels of vitamin D was equal to or greater than 20 ng / ml did not receive any supplements. As for the 512 people in the observation group, they did not have their vitamin D levels checked and did not receive supplements.

Verdict: People who took vitamin D and calcium supplements had a lower rate of recurrence of vertigo at one year than others. Their average recurrence rate was 0.83 times per person in one year, compared with 1.10 times for those in the observation group, a 24% reduction in the annual recurrence rate. Note also that there seems to be a greater benefit from vitamin D and calcium supplements for people who were most vitamin D deficient at the start of the study. Overall, 38% of people in the intervention group had another episode of vertigo, compared to 47% of those in the observation group.

“Our results are exciting because until now, going to the doctor for head movements has been the main treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo,” said Ji-Soo Kim, researcher at the University. from Seoul and co-author of the study. “Our study suggests that inexpensive, low-risk treatment like vitamin D and calcium tablets may be effective in preventing this common and often recurring disorder,” he added.

Remember that in addition to sun exposure for 10 minutes a day (with sufficient UV protection), vitamin D is also obtained through food. It is found in particular in dairy products (which also contain calcium), oily fish (sardines, mackerel, herring, etc.), cod liver, eggs and shiitake mushrooms.