According to a recent study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, not getting enough vitamin D may lead to asthma or make asthma symptoms worse in those who already have asthma. One of the findings showed that people with low vitamin D performed worse on breathing tests. Researchers found the lower the vitamin D levels, the worse their breathing performance.
The study also showed that low vitamin D levels were associated with increased production of an inflammatory protein in the blood, which may be one of the mechanisms related to inflamed bronchial tubes, lungs and subsequent asthma symptoms. Finally, the study found that people with low vitamin D levels didn’t respond as well to asthma treatments compared to people with higher vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is most commonly produced by the skin in response to exposure to sunlight. Very few foods contain adequate amounts of Vitamin D. The flesh of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are the best sources. Vitamin D supplements are the best way to ensure that adequate amounts are met.
Our Recommendations: If you or any of your family members has asthma, make sure these Vitamin D requirements are met: Get 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen at least three days a week in the summer months (May 1st to September 1st) and take 5,000-10,000IU of vitamin D a day in the winter months to prevent low vitamin D. Take vitamin D year-round if you do not get enough sun exposure in the summer or have skin sensitivities to the sun.