Vitamin D and Allergies and Asthma

Comments Off on Vitamin D and Allergies and Asthma Written on June 8th, 2011 by
Categories: Allergy Advice
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Vitamin D seems to be all the rage these days. You can hear about it around the water cooler at work, in your physician’s office, and store shelves seem to be brimming with vitamin D supplements. Currently, there are several studies that suggest vitamin D may play a role in allergies and asthma, but definitive results are pending.

Research has revealed vitamin D’s role with calcium, and how it affects our bones and parathyroid glands. Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium by the intestinal tract. It prevents problems with our bones, such as osteomalacia in adults and Ricket’s disease in young children. This supplement also prevents abnormal function of the parathyroid glands. Finally, we know that vitamin D plays a role in our immune system; however, the specific role is still unclear.

Augusto A. Litonjua M.D. has proposed vitamin D may also protect patients from getting asthma and allergies. Dr, Litonjua’s proposal has inspired others to further research the correlation between vitamin D and allergies and asthma. One such study headed by John Brehm M.D. was CAMP, Childhood Asthma Management Program. CAMP studied over a thousand children with asthma from diverse backgrounds and various locations within the United States. Dr, Brehm reviewed vitamin D levels in the children’s blood. His research revealed that patients with low levels of vitamin D have more severe asthma and more frequent emergency room visits than those with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood. Other studies are finding vitamin D receptors in cells that are associated with the immune system. This is important because asthma and allergies are caused by an overactive immune system.

In summary vitamin D is important for calcium absorption, bone strength and parathyroid gland function. The medical community is interested in learning more about vitamin D’s possible correlation with allergies and asthma. Vitamin D can be naturally produced when our skin is exposed to sunlight. It may also be obtained through our diet. Currently, the recommended daily dose is 400 I.U.’s of vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in foods high in fat, such as fish, egg yolks. and liver. People can increase their daily dose by eating foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk and cheese. If you have questions regarding the role of vitamin D and your health, please ask your health care provider.

 

 

 

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