A review of the scientific literature, all based on randomized clinical trials, indicates that vitamin D supplementation associated with medication could significantly reduce the risk of severe allergic asthma attacks. All without any side effects.
Vitamin D and respiratory infections
Asthma is a relatively common chronic disease: it affects around 300 million people worldwide. Recent work has suggested that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of asthmatic attacks in affected children and adults. One of the tracks mentioned would be that the vitamin would help reduce upper respiratory tract infections (colds), which can exacerbate asthma.
Several clinical trials have therefore tested the hypothesis of a vitamin D supplement, associated with clinical asthma medication. This review lists 7 clinical trials including 435 children and 2 studies following 658 adults. The majority of people followed suffered from moderate asthma. The follow-up of the studies varied from 6 to 12 months.
Less hospitalization and emergency treatment
The results show that oral vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of severe asthmatic attacks requiring urgent hospitalization by 6 to 3%. They also suggest that supplementation reduces the need for steroids to limit seizures.
This observation is however valid especially in adults. Vitamin D also does not improve lung function or day-to-day symptoms. And the approach turns out to be without side effects.
The results mainly concern adults with mild to moderate asthma. It is also not known today whether the effect is present only or not in people with low blood levels of vitamin D.
Martineau AR: Vitamin D to prevent asthma attacks. Cochrane Database System Rev.
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