More Severe Asthma Linked to Low Vitamin D Levels

LungsLow levels of vitamin D are associated with greater asthma severity, report researchers in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. In their recent study, low levels of vitamin D correlated with poorer lung function, increased airway reactivity, and reduced response to steroid treatment in adult asthmatics. As a result of these findings, the researchers suggest that vitamin D supplements might improve symptoms in some asthma patients, but this particular study did not specifically prove that vitamin D supplements would reduce asthma symptoms.

The importance of Vitamin D is considered to be one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2007 and researchers are continuing to find evidence of its critical importance in immune function and many other systems in the body.

In recent years, low Vitamin D levels have been linked with a number of  serious, chronic diseases such as weak bones and muscles, mental decline in elderly, diabetes, gum disease, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, osteoporosis, and possibly cancer, stroke, and heart disease have all been found to be associated with low levels of Vitamin D.

Yet despite the importance of this vitamin, a deficiency of Vitamin D remains widespread. 

The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) has set the Upper Limits (UL) for vitamin D at 2,000 IU for children, adults, pregnant, and lactating women, and 1,000 IU for infants up to 12 months of age.  A simple blood test can measure the circulating Vitamin D levels in your blood. Many doctors have recently been drawing blood levels of Vitamin D to to make sure patients are getting enough vitamin D to optimize good bone health and prevent chronic disease. Ask your doctor about this.

Read more about Vitamin D 

Source: Sutherland E, et al “Vitamin D levels, lung function and steroid response in adult asthma” Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2010; DOI: 10.1164/rccm.200911-1710OC.

Source: “Low Vitamin D Worsens Asthma”, MedPage Today, January 28, 2010

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