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Animal study: Vitamin D alleviates allergic asthma

Posted on: February 3, 2014   by  Will Hunter


Allergic asthma is a disease of chronic inflammation due to a hypersensitive immune reaction to an allergen such as pet dander, pollen, or dust mite excretions. It is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), an increased tendency for airways to constrict, and airway remodeling. The disease is more common in developed countries than developing countries.

Researchers are interested in vitamin D and asthma because of vitamin D’s ability to influence the immune system. It is well-established that vitamin D is an immunomodulator. An immunomodulator is a substance that balances the immune system, with the ability to stimulate a weak immune response and dampen an overactive response.

However, the effect of vitamin D on allergic asthma is under debate. Previous studies have shown no effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory markers in the lungs, while other studies have shown reduced vitamin D levels are associated with impaired lung function and AHR.

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3 Responses to Animal study: Vitamin D alleviates allergic asthma

  1. Brandowbarry

    Afraid I don’t get it. The control group (non OVA) was only administered diferent levels of Vit. D – No OVA or methacholine challenge. So the control group only got Vitamin D. What did this demonstrate? Maybe that Vitamin D wasn’t the cause of the AHR, airway remodeling, NF-kB response, etc. in the challenge group? Yet, it was my initial impression that they were trying to determine the effect of D level on the response to allergenic factors. Seems to me that the controls should have been sensitised/challenged in the absence of supplemental D to achieve the stated goal of the study. Also might have been helpful/informative if pre D supplement blood levels had been taken? If the subjects were all at optimal levels, additional D might have very little effect compared to the effect on subjects with insufficient levels.

  2. WIll Hunter

    Excellent inquiry, Brandowbarry. There were essentially two sets of controls in this study. The independent variable was the supplementation of vitamin D. So the OVA-vitamin D deficient (0 IU/k) mice served as control to the other two OVA groups due to the absence of vitamin D. The three groups of mice who were not administered the ovalbumin or methacholine challenge served to control for any effects due to the injection of the ovalbumin and any interaction between an intraperitoneal injection and levels of vitamin D in the mice. Baseline levels of vitamin D before supplementation theoretically should not be a factor due to the randomization of the selection. But the researchers should have measured these levels anyway just to make sure that the randomization worked and did not result in an uneven grouping of rats with relatively high or low levels of vitamin D before supplementation began.

    Let me know if this is unclear or you have any more questions.


  3. Magic

    There is NO doubt in my mind that Vitamin D3 is successful in clearing the nasal passages and alleviating asthma and all that comes with it. I have been on a crusade, not as large as Rita’s but I tell everyone I can about D3….Probably for more than 6 years….and the ones that” believe” me agree. I use 20,000 IUs a day normally and have no adverse reaction.

    I am 80 years old and have always had problems…Colds, asthma, sinus problems, etc.

    I am not a doctor. I believe, however, that deaths from pneumonia would be cut dramatically if people would simply try D3. ….at least 5000………….Obviously, we can look through all of the symptoms and see other reasons to take D3.


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