Vitamin D may help prevent benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which occurs when tiny crystals in the inner ear get dislodged.

In a 2020 trial, researchers randomly assigned 1,050 people who had been treated for BPPV—with a simple maneuver that moves the crystals back into place—to either an intervention or an observation group.

Of the 500 people in the intervention group, 348 had insufficient vitamin D levels (under 20 ng/mL) when they entered the study. Only they were given vitamin D (400 IU) and calcium carbonate (500 mg) twice a day.

What the researchers found

After a year, the full intervention group had 24 percent fewer episodes of vertigo than the observation group. The researchers calculated that four people with insufficient vitamin D would need to take vitamin D and calcium for a year to prevent one case of BPPV.

What to do

If you’ve had BPPV, get your vitamin D tested to see if you need more.

Photo: luengo_ua/