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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.04.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 17

Journal 9, September 2015
pages: 571-575

Thymus Activity, Vitamin D, and Respiratory Infections in Adolescent Swimmers

    Summary

    Background:

    Several studies have identified associations between low vitamin D concentrations and risk of upper respiratory infections (URI). T lymphocytes have a major anti-viral role, are affected by vitamin D metabolism, and may mediate the link between vitamin D and URIs. Competitive swimmers have a relatively high rate of URIs, alongside a high prevalence of low vitamin D concentration. 

    Objectives:

    To examine the associations linking T cell receptor excision circles (TREC, markers of thymus activity), circulating 25(OH)D concentrations and the effect of vitamin D supplementation, and URI symptoms in young competitive swimmers.

    Methods:

    We tested 82 adolescent swimmers for serum 25(OH)D and TREC concentrations and found that 55 had vitamin D insufficiency. Randomized supplementation of either vitamin D3 or placebo was given for 12 winter weeks. URI symptoms were recorded weekly. The associations between TREC copy numbers, vitamin D and URI burden were examined.

    Results:

    TREC concentrations decreased with the participants’ age (r = -0.346, P = 0.003), with no significant between-gender difference. TREC concentrations did not materially differ among subjects with normal, insufficient or deficient vitamin D status, and were not affected by vitamin D supplementation. No significant correlations were found between TREC levels or their changes during the study period, and mean URI severity or duration. 

    Conclusions:

    Thymus activity, represented by higher TREC levels, was not related to vitamin D concentrations or status, and was not affected by vitamin D supplementation in adolescent swimmers. TREC concentrations were not associated with URI severity or duration in this population.

     

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