About the study
A recent analysis of nine different studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews looked at whether vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of severe asthma attacks (defined as one requiring treatment with an oral steroid medication) and improve control of asthma symptoms.
The studies involved a total of 1,093 children and adults with asthma, most of whom had mild to moderate cases. The participants had been randomly assigned to take a vitamin D supplement (with dosage ranging from 500 to 1,200 International Units) or a placebo daily, in addition to their regular asthma medication, over a period of 4 to 12 months.
What did the study find?
Participants who took a vitamin D supplement had fewer asthma attacks requiring treatment with an oral steroid medication, compared to those who took the placebo. Those taking the vitamin D supplement were also 50 percent less likely to have a severe asthma attack leading to an emergency room visit.
What does this mean to me?
The results of this analysis indicate that daily supplementation with vitamin D is likely to help prevent severe asthma attacks, particularly in adults with mild to moderate asthma. While participants in the study took 500 to 1,200 IU of vitamin D daily, further research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and duration of vitamin D supplementation needed to achieve this particular health benefit.
Vitamin D is one of the most largely researched vitamins, with many studies worldwide touting the benefits of a wide range of health concerns. Low blood levels of vitamin D have previously been linked to an increased risk of asthma attacks in both children and adults.
Vitamin D is commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is naturally produced in the body when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight. Unfortunately, many factors limit our ability to do so, including limited sun exposure in the fall and winter months. Food sources are also extremely limited, making it challenging to meet your daily vitamin D recommendation without supplements. It’s important to speak to your healthcare practitioner to determine the appropriate level of vitamin D supplementation, and to always follow the directions on the product label.
To read the full study, click here
To read more about the benefits of vitamin D, click here
To see Jamieson’s lineup of vitamin D supplements, click here