If you, or someone you care about, suffers with asthma you sure don’t need me to tell you how frightening an asthma attack can be. I’ve heard it described as trying to breathe through one of those little coffee stirrer straws. (Just thinking about that makes me feel a bit panicky.)
But now some exciting new research has revealed that a simple vitamin could significantly slash asthma attacks. And it’s none other than the superstar nutrient vitamin D.
Long time Healthier Talk readers probably won’t be entirely surprised by this news. We’ve been singing the praises of vitamin D for years. From heart disease to cancer and from Alzheimer’s to diabetes, vitamin D’s healing resume is nothing, if not impressive.
Low vitamin D levels linked to asthma
Plus, we already knew that severe uncontrolled asthma in adults, as well as children, is associated with low levels of this vital vitamin.1,2,3,4 (A real problem, because a whole lot of folks tend to run low on D. More on that in a moment.) So, in other words, we already suspected that raising D levels could help alleviate asthma symptoms.
But now researchers have confirmed that taking a vitamin D supplement, along with your asthma meds, could help significantly reduce severe asthma attacks in adults. Researchers took a deeper dive into 7 different trials. and two studies on the role of vitamin D supplements and asthma. to reach their conclusion.
Vitamin D supplements slashed severe asthma attack risk
They found that giving a vitamin D supplement slashed the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring an E.R. visit or hospital admission nearly in half, from 6 percent down to around 3 percent, according to the study published in the journal Cochrane Library.5 Plus the supplements reduced the number of attacks requiring oral steroid treatments.
Vitamin D deficiency is practically an epidemic, with one study finding that over 41 percent of U.S. adults being deficient in the vitamin on average (and with certain groups running as high as 82 percent!).6 Some experts place those numbers even higher.
In fact, one doctor, Larry Horovitz,, MD, told MedPage Today, “Everyone should be on vitamin D supplementation because vitamin D deficiency is epidemic unless you are a forester or a tennis pro.
Most of us are vitamin D deficient and need to take supplements. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a lot of adverse consequences…”7
Most of us may need to supplement with D
Unsurprisingly, the mainstream researchers responsible for the study still stopped short of recommending D supplements. But I, for one, wouldn’t be surprised if a drug treatment based on these findings doesn’t suddenly get fast-tracked. Don’t fall for it.
If you, or someone you care about, suffers from asthma you should think about testing for a vitamin D deficiency. If you do find you’re running low consider talking with your doctor about taking a safe vitamin D3 supplement. We typically recommend a dosage up to 5,000 IU of D3 daily until you’ve reached a healthy level, and then a maintenance dose can be started. Check with your doc about what dosage is right for you.
1.”Severe and uncontrolled adult asthma is associated with vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency,” Respiratory Research, 2013, 14:25, Published: 22 February 2013
2.”Childhood asthma may be a consequence of vitamin D deficiency,” Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Jun; 9(3): 202–207
3.”The impact of Vitamin D deficiency on asthma, allergic rhinitis and wheezing in children: An emerging public health problem,” J Family Community Med. 2014 Sep-Dec; 21(3): 154–161
4.”Vitamin D Deficiency as a risk factor for childhood allergic disease and asthma,” Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Apr; 12(2): 179–185
5.”Vitamin D for the management of asthma,” Cochrane Library, 2016
6.”Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults,” Nutr Res. 2011 Jan;31(1):48-54
7.”Vitamin D Supplements May Combat Asthma – Cochrane Review: evidence supports taking the vitamin to reduce attack severity,” MedPage Today, September 08, 2016
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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