Vitamin D reduces asthma attacks

In asthma, the smooth muscle walls that surround air passageways to the lungs swell, tighten, and inflame, restricting the flow of air. There are several asthma triggers including pollen, pets, mold, respiratory infection, smoke, exercise, and inhaling cold air. Low levels of vitamin D may increase chances for asthma attacks, but this is the first review of results from placebo-controlled asthma studies using vitamin D supplements.

Doctors analyzed findings from seven studies covering 435 children, and two studies covering 658 adults, most with mild or moderate asthma, and fewer with severe asthma. Participants were ethnically diverse, coming from North America, Europe, and Asia, and studies lasted anywhere from four to 12 months.

Overall, compared to placebo, those taking vitamin D saw the rate of asthma flare-ups requiring corticosteroid treatments decrease by 37 percent. Chances of being hospitalized or requiring an emergency room visit for severe asthmatic episodes declined by 61 percent, with the number of hospitalizations declining from 6 per 100 participants to 3 per 100 participants.

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