Vitamin D and Asthma
Some research suggests Vitamin D may have a protective effect against asthma flare ups.[i] [ii]
At this stage there isn’t enough evidence to recommend Vitamin D supplementation as part of general asthma management.[iii] However, being outdoors is great for your immune system and overall health and wellbeing, so try to spend some time outdoors each day – just remember to be SunSmart while doing so!
There continues to be interest and research into the potential role of Vitamin D in asthma management and prevention.
A 2016 review of nine previous double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trials of Vitamin D in children and adults with asthma, found Vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of asthma exacerbations but did not improve lung function or day to day asthma symptoms.[ii] However, more research is needed to understand whether these effects are for all patients or only those with low Vitamin D levels to start with, implications for people with severe asthma, and the dose that is required.
Asthma Australia are proud to be funding research investigating Vitamin D levels during pregnancy and the impact on the respiratory outcomes of the infants. This project will hopefully inform future clinical trials by finding out the ideal time to supplement during pregnancy and what blood Vitamin D level to target, to improve the early life respiratory health of high-risk infants.
[i] Paul et al 2012, Vitamin D and asthma, Am J Respir Crit Care Med; 185: 124-32. Accessed online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3297088/
[ii] Martineau et al 2016, Vitamin D for the management of asthma, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 9, No. CD011511. Accessed online: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011511.pub2/full
[iii] National Asthma Council Australia, Healthy eating for asthma, Australian Asthma Handbook 2.0, Melbourne: NAC. Accessed online: https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au/clinical-issues/food/healthy-eating