Vitamin D Supplements May Combat Asthma
Written by Editor   
Monday, October 24, 2016 04:44 PM

A Cochrane Review suggests that patients with asthma who take vitamin D supplements can reduce the number and severity of attacks.  In nine trials administration of vitamin D reduced the rate of exacerbations by 37%, and the risk of having at least one exacerbation requiring an emergency department visit was reduced 61%.

Vitamin D is likely to prevent severe asthma exacerbation and reduce healthcare use by people with asthma.

Giving an oral vitamin D supplement reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission or emergency department attendance from 6% to around 3%. Vitamin D supplementation also reduced the rate of asthma attacks needing treatment with steroid tablets.

Vitamin D, however, did not improve lung function or day-to-day asthma symptoms or increase the risk of side effects.

Low blood levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of asthma attacks in children and adults with asthma, the team noted.

Said one MD, “Everyone should be on vitamin D supplementation because vitamin D deficiency is epidemic unless you are a forester or a tennis pro.  Most of us are vitamin D deficient and need to take supplements. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a lot of adverse consequences -- they may be involved in autoimmune disease, and some people see a link with certain cancers. So I would never say that it could not be involved in asthma as well."

It is not yet clear whether vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of severe asthma attacks in all patients, or whether this effect is seen just in those who have low vitamin D levels to start with. Further analyses to investigate this question are ongoing.