A new study published in the journal Allergy has confirmed that Vitamin D could help to mitigate asthma attacks.
“Vitamin D has significant immunomodulatory effects and, as such, was believed to have an effect on asthma — an immunologically mediated disease,” said Dr. Confino-Cohen, the lead author of the study. “But most of the existing data regarding Vitamin D and asthma came from the pediatric population and was inconsistent. Our present study is unique because the study population of young adults is very large and ‘uncontaminated’ by other diseases.”
The study consisted of analyzing four million members of Israeli’s largest health provider. The Vitamin D levels of 307,900 people were measured between 2008 and 2012. Researchers also took into account key predictors of asthma, such as obesity, smoking, and other chronic diseases. Of some 21,000 asthma patients in Israel studied, those with a Vitamin D deficiency were 25 percent more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past.
The findings confirmed that Vitamin D-deficient asthmatics were at a higher risk of an asthma attack. “Our results add more evidence to the link between Vitamin D and asthma, suggesting beneficial effects of Vitamin D on asthma exacerbations,” said Dr. Confino-Cohen. “We expect that further prospective studies will support our results. In the meantime, our results support a recommendation for screening of Vitamin D levels in the subgroup of asthma patients who experience recurrent exacerbations. In those with Vitamin D deficiency, supplementation may be necessary.”
“We know a lot about this disease and many therapeutic options are available. So it’s quite frustrating that the prevalence of asthma is not decreasing and many patients suffer exacerbations and significant impairment in their quality of life,” Dr. Confino-Cohen, an allergy and clinical immunology specialist, said. “Increasing Vitamin D levels is something we can easily do to improve patients’ quality of life.”
R. Confino-Cohen, I. Brufman, A. Goldberg, B. S. Feldman. Vitamin D, asthma prevalence and asthma exacerbations: a large adult population-based study. Allergy, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/all.12508