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Does Vitamin D Help Asthma

The Role Of Vitamin D3

Asthma, Vitamin D and Remodeling of the Lung

Another surprising thing about vitamin D3? Its not actually a vitamin, but a pro-hormone. Its considered a pro-hormone because the body is able to produce it on its own by absorbing sunlight on the skin.

Other vitamins and nutrients are unable to be produced by the body and therefore must be obtained via diet and supplements. The body needs to store a healthy amount of vitamin D in order absorb phosphorous and be able to maintain normal levels of calcium. In fact, vitamin D is essential to many functions in the body:

  • Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth.
  • Keeping a healthy store of vitamin D gives added protection to such diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
  • Helps with diabetes management and maintaining healthy insulin levels.
  • Vitamin D offers immune support as well as protection to the nervous system and the brain.
  • Vitamin D is essential to the health of the lungs and cardiovascular system.
  • Helps inhibit the development of cancer.

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Can Vitamin D Help My Asthma

Asthma is a disease that canât be cured, only managed. There are plenty of things you can do to cut down on your risk of having an asthma attack, and one of them may be taking vitamin D supplements. While vitamin D isnât a replacement for asthma medicine prescribed by a doctor, some researchers have found that taking vitamin D supplements on a daily basis helps to cut down on asthma flare-ups.

Studies With Vitamin D And Eczema

Randomized controlled trial using vitamins E and D supplementation in atopic dermatitis

In 2011, a study was conducted to assess the effects of vitamins D and E supplementation in eczema patients. 45 eczema patients were included in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment where each were treated for 60 days. Separate vitamin D groups and vitamin E groups each saw an improvement in the intensity and amount of eczema around 35%. But together, when 1600 IU of vitamin D3 and 600 IU of vitamin E were given together, patients improved by 64%!!

The study revealed that there were notable effects and benefits in supplementing vitamin D for eczema patients and even more so when given together with vitamin E.

Eczema treated by 1600 IU of vitamin D

In December 2016 a systematic review was conducted in order to compile results from various past studies on vitamin D and eczema.

They looked at four randomized controlled trials, including the one mentioned just above, and they were able to discover that serum vitamin D levels were generally lower in eczema patients, but especially so in children. And all studies they reviewed indicated that vitamin D helped to improve a patients eczema overall.

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Vitamin D And Immune System

Vitamin D plays a significant part in inborn and adaptive immunity however, it is not completely understood . It is reported that over 900 genes are regulated by vitamin D . This action of vitamin D has gained immense acceptance after the discovery of vitamin D receptor . Several studies have shown that vitamin D prevents the increase of CD41 T-cells and decreases the creation of Th1 cytokines IL-17 . However, due to alterations in target cells timing and quantity of vitamin administration, studies have shown contrasting results. Evidence suggests that innate immunity is activated by the production of anti-microbial peptide LL-37 by macrophages . The adaptive immune system increases the production of T-cells and modifies the functions of antigen-presenting cells , of dendritic cells. In addition, vitamin D has been revealed to improve and inhibit IL-4 production by naive T-cells .

Dealing With The Dangers Of Asthma

Vitamin D

Over 30 million Americans have asthma. And anyone with the disease knows how scary managing symptoms can be. Asthma is a chronic and dangerous lung disease. People living with asthma feel symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. If left unchecked, these symptoms worsen and can even cause death. Fortunately, some supplements can help reduce symptoms.

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The Best Vitamins Minerals And Supplements For Asthma

A balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and this is especially true in people with asthma. While no single vitamin, mineral or supplement can treat or cure asthma, research shows that adequate nutrition may relate to the number of asthma attacks and frequency of symptoms experienced. More specifically, ensuring adequate levels of the vitamins C, D, E and the mineral magnesium may be especially important, since links between low levels of these vitamins and asthma symptoms have been reported.

Assessment Of Asthma Control

The level of asthma control was assessed by self-reporting using an Arabic version of the well-validated Asthma Control Test ,. The ACT is a simple to administer and clinically valid test for asthma control evaluation,. The ACT consists of 5 items measuring each of the followings over the preceding 4 weeks: the impact of asthma on everyday life, the recurrence of shortness of breath, frequency of nighttime awakening due to asthma symptoms, frequency of using rescue inhaler or nebulizer medication, and description of rate of overall asthma control,. Each item comprises 5 choices with a value ranging from 1 to 5. For scoring, the ACT answers values are summed up for each of the five items to give a score range from 5 to 25 ,. An ACT score > 20 reflects well-controlled asthma and 20 reflects uncontrolled asthma.

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Optimize Your Vitamin D3 Levels:

Vitamin D is more of a hormone than it is a vitamin. Hormones interact with cells directly to elicit specific biological processes. Low vitamin D3 is associated with chronic inflammation and autoimmune conditions. Vitamin D is arguably one of the most powerful nutrients responsible for modulating and coordinating the immune system.

Sunshine is the best way to get enough vitamin D, however, our indoor lifestyle and in some places, cold climate and cloudy weather, makes it practically impossible to meet all your requirements. Taking a good quality vitamin D3 supplement on a regular basis and testing your 25-OH vitamin D3 levels a few times a year to make sure it is in the optimal 50-100 ng/mL range is recommended.

Asthma Rates And Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamin D and ashtma

The hypothesis is based in large part on higher rates of asthma in Western countries where diets rich in refined sugar, fats, and processed foods have led to widespread deficiencies of certain vitamins, including vitamin D and B complex vitamins.

By comparison, the rate of asthma in non-industrialized parts of the world that rely on real foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is generally lower. Although nutritional deficiencies are common in developing countries, those deficiencies are driven more by malnutrition than by the dietary habits of the population.

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Study Design And Treatment

The study was a randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled clinical trial, with each participant randomly assigned to either daily placebo capsules or daily vitamin D3, 4000 IU , plus inhaled fluticasone propionate . Eligible participants were screened between February of 2016 and March of 2019 and enrolled if they met inclusion criteria. After a 4-week run-in period in which participants received placebo capsules plus inhaled fluticasone and as-needed inhaled albuterol , those who met inclusion criteria at entry and during run-in were randomized .

Selection of Study Participants

FEV1 indicates forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration.

aSum is greater than 376 because potential participants could fail screening more than once and could fail for more than 1 reason.

bSum is greater than 27 because participants could enter run-in more than once and could fail for more than 1 reason.

How Can It Benefit People With Asthma

Multiple studies show that vitamin D can improve lung function in people with asthma. Because of this positive relationship, vitamin D may be a helpful supplemental therapy.3

Studies show vitamin D helps boost immune responses to viruses that trigger asthma attacks. It also decreases inflammatory responses.1

Inflammation is the root of the problem in asthma. It makes the airways sensitive to triggers like allergens, mold, chemicals, and viruses. The airways react to these triggers by becoming narrow. In turn, this makes breathing difficult.4

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Design Setting And Participants

The Vitamin D to Prevent Severe Asthma Exacerbations Study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation to improve the time to severe exacerbations in high-risk children with asthma aged 6 to 16 years taking low-dose inhaled corticosteroids and with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL. Participants were recruited from 7 US centers. Enrollment started in February 2016, with a goal of 400 participants the trial was terminated early due to futility, and follow-up ended in September 2019.

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The Nhs On Asthma Dietary Supplements

Asthma: Vitamin D tablets may help reduce attacks, review finds

The NHS consistently reviews and observes studies conducted by researchers throughout the UK to assure people about the legitimacy and inconsistencies when providing conclusions and links. Two studies will be followed to offer potential conclusions about the effectiveness of dietary supplements for asthma.

In 2009, a study conducted by the medical journal Thorax, carried out by Drs Allen, Britton, and Leonardi-Bee from the University of Nottingham attempted to connect the association between vitamins A, C, and E to asthma and see if it had potential relief side effects. However, both the studies and NHS found that the connection between these vitamins and relief from asthma symptoms were weak due to potential biases underlying the study, how the researchers could not control the factors such as age, economic status, smoking, and BMI into the analysis and that the causation for the possible connection could not be identified.

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Dietary Supplements That May Help Your Asthma

From omega-3s to caffeine, weve rounded up the nutrients, herbs, and supplements that may reduce inflammation, a key part of asthma management.


If youre wondering whether certain dietary supplements can help improve asthma symptoms, there are a few things you should know.

For starters, there is very little scientific evidence that they work, says Maureen George, PhD, RN, a medical adviser of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and a certified asthma educator whose research specialties include alternative and complementary medicine.

And even though small studies have shown some clinical benefits of vitamins and minerals on asthma management, says Clifford Bassett, MD, founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York and a clinical assistant professor in the department of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center, the evidence is limited and, in some cases, even contradictory.

At the same time, George adds, certain vitamins, herbs, and minerals appear to be safe and even helpful for some people with asthma. I allow patients to use what theyd like as long as they take it along with their prescribed medications, she says.

Here are eight dietary supplements that may help alleviate asthma symptoms and what research and experts say about making them part of your asthma management plan:

What’s The Impact Of Diet On Asthma Symptoms

Eating a healthy, balanced diet with the right foods and nutrients can improve your overall health, including your lung health.

Moreover, research shows that following a Mediterranean diet rich in fish, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help reduce asthma symptoms or prevent the condition altogether.

Plant-based diets that emphasize fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting the intake of dairy and high-fat meats, can also protect against asthma development and improve asthma symptoms.

These foods are rich in compounds and antioxidants that can fight inflammation and oxidation caused by toxins we’re exposed to daily.

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Should You Take Vitamin D For Your Asthma

While asthma appears to be correlated with vitamin D deficiency, it is not necessarily caused by it. This means taking vitamin D supplements won’t banish your asthma completely, so you shouldn’t stop taking your regular asthma medicine just yet. However, taking vitamin D may be able to help reduce the frequency of your asthma flare-ups. While vitamin D supplements are safe for most people, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before you add any new supplements to your routine.

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Persons with asthma should seek medical advice first before using any supplement. More importantly, supplements are not a replacement for inhalers or other medications. Use these supplements in conjunction with prescribed asthma medication. Consistent use may reduce coughing, wheezing, or other symptoms due to the ability to reduce inflammation. Get the much-needed support from a doctor or pharmacist on the right combination of these 4 supplements.

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Maternal/infant Vitamin D Exposure And Childhood Respiratory Symptoms

Table 1. Studies of vitamin D exposure in early life and respiratory outcomes

Age of children at assessment Determination of Vitamin D status Association between vitamin D and respiratory outcomes
Maternal food-frequency questionnaire and cord blood 25D Lower 25D concentrations associated with an increased risk of respiratory syncytial virus infection
3 y Maternal food-frequency questionnaire
Birth to 5 y Cord blood 25D Higher 25D associated with a decreased risk of respiratory infection and wheezing but no associations with childhood asthma noted
529 weeks Maternal whole blood 25D Increasing maternal 25D associated with decreased odds of asthma in mothers but no associations with infantile wheezing noted
2000 pregnant women, 1212 children 5 y
466 mothers and 178 children 9 mo and 9 y Maternal serum 25D
12 mo, 46 y Maternal plasma 25D Increased maternal 25D associated with a decreased risk of lower respiratory infections but not wheezing or asthma
Birth to 5 y Cord blood 25D Both low and high cord blood 25D associated with increased aeroallergen sensitization but not with allergic rhinitis or asthma

Vitamin D May Improve Asthma Control

Study Links Vitamin D Deficiency and Asthma Severity

Sept 10, 2010 — Vitamin D is the new “it” vitamin. A number of studies link its deficiency to a host of medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Now, a new review article makes the case for vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of asthma. The findings appear in the September issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Researchers reviewed nearly 60 years’ worth of literature on vitamin D status and asthma. They found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased airway reactivity, lower lung functions, and worse asthma control. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include obesity, being African-American, and living in Westernized countries, the researchers report. These are also populations known to be at higher risk for developing asthma.

Vitamin D supplementation may improve asthma control by blocking the cascade of inflammation-causing proteins in the lung, as well as increasing production of the protein interleukin-10, which has anti-inflammatory effects, the study authors suggest.

Vitamin D is often called “the sunshine vitamin” because our bodies make it when we are exposed to sunlight. Food sources include fish, eggs, and dairy products. It is also added to multivitamins and milk.

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Vitamin D And Asthma Pathogenesis

A study conducted by Gupta, et al. was the pioneer research in concluding that serum vitamin D levels were found to be lowest among children with steroid resistant asthma with reduced lung function, increased corticosteroid use, and asthma exacerbations. The probable reason for this is because low vitamin D levels increase the airway smooth muscle and reduce lung function in severe asthma .

Evidence from Observational Studies

Vitamin D is only used for primary prevention for asthma but it also has a role in asthma exacerbation. A cross-sectional study of 616 asthmatic children in Costa Rica between the ages of 6 and 14 years, reported that vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency was prevalent in 28% of the children and increased levels of vitamin D were related with reduction in asthma exacerbations and reduced visits to emergency department . A 4-year longitudinal study was conducted by Brehm, et al. to establish causal relations between serum vitamin D levels and asthma exacerbations in 1024 North American asthmatic children with mild to moderate asthma . This study confirmed that less levels of vitamin D had increased risk of asthma exacerbations . In addition, the study also concluded that children with vitamin D insufficiency had higher chances of asthma exacerbation .

Risks Of Vitamin D Consumption

Can Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Severe Asthma Attacks?

Generally, vitamin D is considered safe when taken in the right doses. The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. However, taking too much vitamin D can be harmful and cause side effects like:2

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Kidney stones

Vitamin D may interact with some medicines, including anticonvulsants, steroids, and stimulative laxatives.2

You cannot get too much vitamin D from sunlight. This is because your skin limits the amount of vitamin D it makes.2

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Asthma Events Hospital Visits Reduced

The review included a total of 955 subjects with asthma, all of whom were receiving standard treatment for the condition.

It was found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the need for asthma-related emergency department visits and hospital admissions by 50 percent when compared with a placebo, with the rate of such events falling from 6 percent to 3 percent.

Also, among adults who did experience an asthma attack, vitamin D supplementation reduced the need for treatment with steroid tablets or injections by 30 percent, from 0.43 events per person per year to 0.30 events per person per year.

From a subgroup analysis, the researchers found that patients whose vitamin D levels were low at study baseline experienced the greatest benefit from vitamin D supplementation their need for treatment with steroid tablets or injections fell by 55 percent.

Still, they note that the small number of participants in each subgroup makes it difficult to confirm whether or not initial vitamin D levels influence the effect of supplementation on asthma severity.


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