Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Increased Asthma and Allergy Risk in Children
Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the immune system and promoting healthy lung development. Now, the first study to track children’s vitamin D and asthma/allergy levels from birth has found that children with vitamin D deficiency may be more likely to develop asthma and allergies than those with sufficient levels of vitamin D.
Researchers began tracking children’s vitamin D concentrations and allergy/asthma levels at birth. They took measurements at birth, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 years old. The researchers found that having a vitamin D deficiency repeatedly through childhood was associated with higher asthma, allergy, and eczema rates at age 10.
They also found that those with a vitamin D deficiency at six months were more likely to have a higher level of harmful bacteria in their upper airways as well as a higher susceptibility to severe lower respiratory infections involving fever. Both of these conditions are associated with a higher risk of asthma. Finally, allergic sensitization was higher in children with low vitamin D levels in their earlier years.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne, Curtin University, and University of Queensland — all in Australia — conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 7, 2016, in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular 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 it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.