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Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Asthma Severity

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

September 7 2016. On September 5, 2016, the Cochrane Librarypublished an analysis of nine randomized trials that provides “high quality evidence” in favor of vitamin D supplementation to reduce the severity of asthma attacks.

“Several clinical trials of vitamin D to prevent asthma exacerbation and improve asthma control have been conducted in children and adults, but a meta-analysis restricted to double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of this intervention is lacking,” note authors Adrian Martineau and colleagues.

Dr Martineau and his associates selected seven trials that included 435 asthmatic children and two that involved 658 asthmatic adults that tested the effects of six to twelve months of oral vitamin D supplementation in addition to usual medication. They determined that vitamin D supplementation lowered the risk of severe asthma attacks that required an emergency department visit or hospital admission from 6% to approximately 3%. Supplementing with vitamin D also reduced the need for treatment with steroid drugs.

“We found that taking a vitamin D supplement in addition to standard asthma treatment significantly reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks, without causing side effects,” stated Dr Martineau, of Queen Mary University’s Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research. “This is an exciting result, but some caution is warranted. First, the findings relating to severe asthma attacks come from just three trials: most of the patients enrolled in these studies were adults with mild or moderate asthma . 

Second, it is not yet clear whether vitamin D supplements can reduce risk of severe asthma attacks in all patients, or whether this effect is just seen in those who have low vitamin D levels to start with. Further analyses to investigate these questions are on-going, and results should be available in the next few months.”

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