Deaths related to asthma attacks are far too common. One of the main causes of these asthma attacks is respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D has several effects in the body, one of which is on our immune system. Researchers sought to discover where vitamin D might protect against asthma attacks in children.
1024 children were studied, and 35% were found to have a vitamin D deficiency. The remaining 65% had sufficient vitamin D levels.
Over 4 years, 38% of the children that were deficient in vitamin D were admitted to hospital for an asthma attack compaired to 32% of the children with adequate vitamin D levels. The researchers crunched the numbers and found that after adjusting for disease severity, weight and family income a vitamin D insuffiency was linked to a 50% increase in the risk of a severe asthma attack.
The protective effects were moft noticeable for children using the corticosteroid budesonide (Pulmacort, Symbicort). The researchers suggest that Vitamin D enhances the effects of anti-inflammatory steroid hormones.
Brehm JM, Schuemann B, Fuhlbrigge AL, Hollis BW, Strunk RC, Zeiger RS, et al. Serum Vitamin D levels and severe asthma exacerbations in the Childhood Asthma Management Program Study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010 July; 126(1):52-58.[fb_button]