Vitamin D Supplements Offer Protection for Asthma Patients
According to a recent review of existing studies, Vitamin D may make asthma less dangerous for asthma patients.
The Study on Vitamin D Supplements for Asthma Patients
The researchers led by Professor Adrian Martineau from Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research at Queen Mary University of London write that previous research has linked low blood levels of Vitamin D to a heightened risk of asthma attacks. The researchers, part of Cochrane, analyzed data from nine studies lasting six to twelve months that included children and adults. Those who took Vitamin D supplements cut the incidence of asthma attacks in asthma patients severe enough to require hospitalization in half, from 6% of all attacks down to 3% in Vitamin D users. Also, the use of Vitamin D supplements was safe. The supplements did not improve lung function nor everyday symptoms but reduced the need for steroid drugs (and kept people out of emergency rooms). Steroid drugs are used to reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Note: Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, and people interested in health. Their contributors are leaders in their fields – medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy – and groups are often situated in well respected academic and medical institutions. With 37,000 contributors from 130 countries, Cochrane groups systematically review evidence from randomized, controlled trials combining the results for a greater level of evidence for the use of drugs, medical procedures, surgeries, diets, nutritional supplements and other healthcare interventions and diagnostic tests. The results of the reviews are then published in the Cochrane Library.
More information on Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not technically an essential vitamin, since the body naturally synthesizes the “sunshine vitamin” through a chemical reaction between the sun’s UV rays and the cholesterol on your skin. Nevertheless, it has been estimated that approximately 70% of North Americans have Vitamin D deficiencies. This is due to a combination of factors: low levels of sunlight for most of the year, obesity, sun avoidance, and low consumption of foods high in Vitamin D such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines). Inadequate Vitamin D in the body often leads to conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia, which bring on symptoms like bone and muscle pain, enlarged joints, and easily fractured bones. Given the high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, this could be the most essential of all the conditionally essential vitamins.
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