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High Dose Vitamin D3 During Pregnancy May Help Protect Against Asthma

Previous studies have found that programming of the immune system during fetal development may influence asthma-related risk factors. A recent study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the second and third trimester of pregnancy may help boost the immune systems of babies and help decrease the risk of developing asthma.

Participants in the study included 51 pregnant mothers. Half of them were given a high sample (4,400 IU/day) of vitamin D3 and the other half were given the recommended daily amount (400 IU/day) of vitamin D. The researchers collected umbilical blood cord in order to analyze the effect of vitamin D supplementation on cytokine production.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the babies from the women on the higher dose of vitamin D had better immune system responses to pathogen imitators. Specifically, they had a higher cytokine response and greater IL-17A production in response to the T lymphocyte stimulation. Both of these responses are thought to predict neonatal defense response to infection.

Researchers from King’s College London conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on May 25, 2017, in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Consumption of vitamin D3 has been linked to reducing the risk of osteoporosis and high blood pressure in mature adults, improving kidney health, reducing the risk of skin cancer, improving cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process vitamin D as we age. This can be a particular problem for people living in the northern hemisphere, where sunlight is scarce for much of the year. A high quality vitamin D3 supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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