Supplement your asthma action plan with Vitamin D and you may experience improved asthma control, according to a new review by Creighton University allergists in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. [“The role of vitamin D in Asthma,” Sep 2010]
“There is a possible cause-and-effect relationship between vitamin D deficiency and uncontrolled asthma,” says lead author Manbir Sandhu, MD. “Evidence suggests that vitamin D has a number of biologic factors that are important in regulating key mechanisms in asthma.”
The authors conducted a review of almost 60 years of literature on vitamin D and asthma. According to the article, vitamin D deficiency is associated with:
• Increased airway hyper-responsiveness,
• Lower lung functions,
• And inferior asthma control.
Vitamin D deficiency is more common with obesity, in African American ethnicity, and westernization of countries reflecting a higher-risk population for asthma.
Some of D’s Asthma-Related Roles
Conversely, the authors explain, there is evidence that vitamin D:
• Inhibits release of inflammatory cytokines
• While increasing synthesis of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-10
• And inducing expression of several anti-infective molecules.
The authors recommend that long-term interventional trials be conducted in asthma patients.
NOT an Alternative to Prescribed Medication
“Vitamin D can complement your prescribed asthma treatment plan as it has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties, but should never be used as an alternative to prescribed medication,” said co-author Thomas Casale, MD.
“Asthma is a serious and sometimes life threatening disease and needs to be treated that way. Always discuss use of supplements with your allergist.”
Consumers and patients can take a simple online test to gauge their asthma symptoms and obtain a personalized plan on how to get relief at www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
“It’s important to know that if you have asthma, you should be able to feel good, be active all day and sleep well at night,” said Dr. Casale.
“If you’re not, make an appointment with your allergist for a ‘tune-up’ visit.”
Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology news release, Sep 8, 2010; “The role of vitamin D in Asthma,” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Sep 2010.