Not getting enough vitamin D may increase asthma severity in children, a new study indicates.
Researchers looked at 616 children with asthma. Each child was assessed for allergies, lung function and vitamin D levels.
The study found that children with low vitamin D levels were significantly more likely to have been hospitalised for asthma in the previous year and were more likely to have regularly used inhaled asthma medication. Those children were also more likely to be dust-mite sensitive.
“This study suggests that there may be added health benefits to vitamin D supplementation,” the researchers said.
“Whether vitamin D supplementation can prevent the development of asthma in very young children is a separate question, which will be answered by clinical trials that are getting under way,” they added.
Vitamin D primarily comes from exposure to sunshine, but is also found in fatty fish and fish oils.
Lack of sunshine, an increased use of sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, along with children spending more time indoors all lead to decreased levels of vitamin D.
The study from Costa Rica was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
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