A randomised study involving 1,024 children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma found that 35% of these children had inadequate levels of Vitamin D. The lowest levels found in African-Americans and the highest levels found in white Americans. Moreover an insufficient Vitamin D status is associated with higher odds of any hospitalisation or emergency department visit. The authors conclude, “That Vitamin D insufficiency is common in this population of North American children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma and is associated with higher odds of severe exacerbation of their asthma over a 4-year period.”
Greg’s Comments: The major source of Vitamin D is sunlight followed by Cod Liver Oil and eggs. In Australia the slip, slop, slap message has scared people from going out in the sun. On average we need 15 to 20 minutes a day depending on the seasons and where we live. As seen in the above study, Vitamin D helps to protect against asthma and worsening of asthma symptoms, it is also essential to maintain a healthy immune system. If you or your child sufferers from asthma, I would suggest getting Vitamin D levels checked, and if they are below 75 ng/ml then look at taking a supplement.
Reference: “Serum vitamin D levels and severe asthma exacerbations in the Childhood Asthma Management Program study,” Brehm JM, Schuemann B, et al, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010 June 8; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA).