Vitamin D an aid for asthma sufferers

TAKING vitamin D supplements in addition to usual medication can halve the chance of a severe attack and hospital admissions in people with mild to moderate asthma.

Respiratory physicians say the findings published on Thursday in theCochrane Library should prompt asthmatics to get their vitamin D level tested, to improve management of the condition.

Cochrane researchers made their findings based on reviews of seven trials involving more than 400 children, and two studies of almost 700 adults.

They found the supplement reduced the risk of a severe asthma attack needing a hospital visit from 6 to 3 per cent, and also reduced the rate of attacks requiring steroidal treatment.

Professorial Fellow at the University of Tasmania and Cochrane author Professor Haydn Walters said there was evidence vitamin D was beneficial, not just for allergies but also for inflammation type conditions such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

“What we need to know more of is what levels of vitamin D are beneficial,” Prof Walters said.

“For anybody that is vulnerable to these diseases, they have a family history or a history of hay fever, they should know what their vitamin D level is and if it’s not in the top half of the normal range, then they should take vitamin D on a regular basis.”

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