Asthma

12 May 2017

Vitamin D fails the asthma test

Vitamin D supplements probably won't protect you from eczema or allergies either, researchers say.

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Vitamin D supplements aren't likely to reduce the risk of asthma, allergies or the skin condition eczema in children or adults, a new study finds.

Previous research had suggested that low vitamin D levels were linked with these "atopic" conditions. For the new study, Canadian researchers analysed data from more than 100 000 people to determine if this was true.

The sunshine vitamin

The investigators found no statistically significant differences in rates of asthma, allergies or eczema between people with low or normal levels of vitamin D.

The results were published online in the journal PLoS Medicine.

"Our findings suggest that previous associations between low vitamin D and atopic disease could be due to spurious associations with other factors," lead study author Despoina Manousaki said in a journal news release.

Manousaki is a doctoral student at Lady Davis Institute, the research arm of Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.

In a previous study, the same group of researchers said it found that low vitamin D levels increase the risk of certain inflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin, because exposure to sunlight produces it in your skin. It's also found in certain foods, including fortified dairy products, fatty fish and egg yolks.

Read more:

Low vitamin D tied to heart disease

Low vitamin D tied to anaemia risk in kids

Low vitamin D levels tied to weight gain

 

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Asthma Expert

Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

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