There has been a great deal of interest in Vitamin D over the past few years and studies have been trying to understand the role of this vitamin in a number of conditions including asthma, allergies and eczema. Here is some recent research on Vitamin D.
- Kids with the lowest vitamin D levels in one study needed the highest doses of inhaled steroids to control their asthma
- Half of all asthmatics in Denver from Jan-March were shown to be deficient in vitamin D
- Higher vitamin D intake by pregnant mothers reduces asthma risk by up to 40% in children age 3-5 years old
- A low level of vitamin D at age 6 was associated with increased allergies and asthma at age 14 in one study from Australia
- Kids and adolescents with vitamin D deficiency had more allergic antibodies
- A large study showed that vitamin D deficiency was specifically associated with allergies to oak tree, ragweed pollen and peanut allergy in kids
- Adding Vitamin D to use of nasal steroids improved symptoms in one study of adults
- Patients with adequate vitamin D receiving allergy shots had a better response than those with deficient stores of vitamin D
- Newborns with vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency at age 1 had more food allergies than those who had adequate amounts of vitamin D
- Vitamin D supplements have shown benefit in improving skin integrity as well as the natural immune system of the skin
It is important to note that studies are still ongoing to determine what role vitamin D deficiency and supplementation has in allergic diseases. You should not take vitamin D in excess and should be cautious if you have a personal/family history of kidney stones.
Recommended sources of Vitamin D
Fifteen minutes in direct sunlight on a warm Summer day allows the skin to naturally produces thousands of units of vitamin D. In the late Fall through Winter (and especially in New England), the skin is unable to produce much, if any D. Also note that sunscreens reduce vitamin D production by over 90%. Milk is a good source of vitamin D but it takes 4 cups to get 400 IU of D from this source. Multivitamins typically have 100-200 IU in each pill/gummy.
- Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy 1000/2000 IU ($8/150)
- Carlson Labs Ddrops 400/1000/2000 IU ($15/365 drops)
- Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3 ($44/120)
This is a handout from the Asthma and Allergy Affiliates reviewing current data on the role of Vitamin D in the treatment of allergies and asthma. These handouts are intended for our patients and are not a substitute for discussing your (or your child’s) unique situation with one of our physicians.