Studies: Vitamin D intake can reduce severe asthma attacks in half

Studies: Vitamin D intake can reduce severe asthma attacks in half

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What are the benefits of taking vitamin D in people with asthma?

An asthma disease can lead to severe asthma attacks, which may even require hospitalization. Researchers have now found that taking vitamin D pills can reduce emergency visits and hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks by about half.

The researchers at Queen Mary University of London found in their current study that taking vitamin D pills reduces the number of people who need to be admitted to the emergency room for serious asthma attacks or who have to go to hospital for a long time. The researchers published the results of their study in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Where does the human body get vitamin D from?

Vitamin D is produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. The nutrient is also found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and fresh tuna. Red meat, liver, egg yolk and some fortified foods also contain vitamin D. When asthmatics take vitamin D, it reduces the likelihood that they will need steroids after severe breathing difficulties, the experts explain.

In the UK alone, three people die every day from asthma attacks

Asthma is a previously incurable long-term illness that affects around 5.4 million people in the UK alone. Around one in twelve adults and one in eleven children are affected. Asthma attacks kill three people in the UK every day, but two deaths could be avoided with adequate care, the authors explain.

Researchers are examining the data from 955 subjects

Scientists believe that vitamin D protects against such asthma attacks by boosting immune responses to respiratory viruses and reducing the likelihood of harmful respiratory infections. Doctors at Queen Mary University of London analyzed data from a total of 955 participants in seven randomized controlled trials that examined the use of vitamin D supplements.

How does taking vitamin D affect calcium levels?

Taking vitamin D also reduces the risk of experiencing an asthma attack that requires hospitalization by about 50 percent. About six percent of all asthmatics experience such serious complications, and taking vitamin D reduces the likelihood to three percent, the researchers say. There were no side effects such as cases of excessively high calcium levels or kidney stones when taking the doses of vitamin D supplements administered.

Vitamin D supports bone health and immune function

The study results show that vitamin D can support immune function and bone health, explains author Professor Adrian Martineau. Vitamin D is safe to take and relatively inexpensive. Dietary supplements could be a potentially cost-effective strategy to reduce asthma attacks.

Significant protective effects of vitamin D found in some people

Because so many individuals were involved in the study, the scientists were able to closely examine the impact of vitamin D supplements on different groups of people. In particular, the study found that dietary supplements with vitamin D have a strong and statistically significant protective effect in participants with a low vitamin D content. A 55 percent reduction in the rate of asthma attacks has been observed in asthmatics who usually take steroid tablets or injections.

Results clarify uncertainties about the use of vitamin D in asthma

Our results are largely based on data from adults with mild to moderate asthma, explains the author Dr. David Jolliffe. Children and adults with severe asthma are relatively underrepresented in the data set. For this reason, the findings cannot necessarily be transferred to these patient groups. There are other ongoing international clinical trials, the data of which can be used for future analysis. In this way, it could perhaps be determined whether the results also occurred with a larger and more diverse group of patients. The current study used data from several other studies around the world and is an important contribution to reducing uncertainties as to whether vitamin D can be helpful in the treatment of asthma, the experts explain. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Researchers: Vitamin D Can Help Cut Risk Of Serious Asthma Attack In Half (May 2022).


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  4. Huitzilli

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