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Vitamin D Deficiency May Lead to Increase in Asthma Attacks

During an asthma attack, also called an asthma exacerbation, the airways become swollen and inflamed. A recent study suggests that people with asthma who are deficient in vitamin D may be 25% more likely to experience an asthma attack than those with normal vitamin D levels.

For this study, researchers examined data that included more than 4 million Israeli adults. Of those, 21,000 had asthma. In order to determine asthma episodes, the researchers relied on physician diagnoses, rather than self-reports.

After taking into account other predictors of asthma – such as obesity, smoking, and other chronic diseases - the researchers found that having a vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 25% higher risk of having an asthma attack.

The researchers recommended that people with uncontrollable asthma and vitamin D deficiency try to raise their levels of vitamin D. They also recommended that the vitamin D come from food sources, as vitamin D from the sun can have damaging effects.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 3, 2014, in the journal Allergy.

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.

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