New research out of Costa Rica suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase your risk of having severe asthma.
Asthma is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world. If poorly managed, asthma can be severe and life threatening.
Researchers have become increasingly interested if vitamin D can help improve asthma, by improving lung function and decreasing the risk of attacks by boosting the immune system. A few small trials have shown that vitamin D may help the patients response to traditional asthma medications.
In this study, researchers measured vitamin D levels in 121 asthmatic adults who consecutively visited the San Juan de Dios Hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica.
They found that the more severe your asthma, the more likely you were to be deficient in vitamin D. Ninety-one percent of the patients with deficient vitamin D levels (less than 20 ng/ml) had severe asthma, while only 50% of patients had severe asthma who had levels over 30 ng/ml.
The researchers also found a trend, where patients with higher vitamin D levels had better lung function, as measured by forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (called FEV1).
“We demonstrated that vitamin D insufficiency is frequent in asthmatic adults and that it is predictive of the risk of severe asthma,” the researchers concluded. “We suggest a randomized clinical trial to determine whether supplementation with vitamin D can reduce or modify asthma severity in adults.”