Vitamin D supplements may lower risk of severe asthma attacks

Posted at 5:56 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 17:56:16-04

A new study out of the United Kingdom sounds like promising news for the 17.7 million American adults afflicted with asthma. 

Researchers analyzed nine studies where participants were given oral vitamin D supplements alongside their standard medical treatment. This resulted in less trips to the emergency department due to severe asthma attacks.

The risk of emergency visits was reduced from 6 percent to 3 percent. 

That may sound small but there were over 3,600 asthma deaths in 2013 according to the CDC.  So it’s a condition to take very seriously as it causes airways to narrow and swell which can make breathing difficult.

Question: How much Vitamin D do they need to take?

The study didn’t release any numbers, but here are my prescriptions if you want to add in Vitamin D supplementation.

Partha’s RX on Vitamin D Supplementation:

  1. Recommended Daily Allowance for those between 1 - 70-years-old is 600 IU
  2. Increase to 800 IU if you’re 71 or older
  3. Don’t overdo Vitamin D as very high levels have been linked to other health problems
  4. If you’re concerned, see your doctor as a blood test can measure the amount of vitamin D in your body.

I want to make it clear that vitamin D didn’t improve the patient’s lung function nor their everyday asthma symptoms. 

Researchers aren’t sure if vitamin D reduces the risk of severe asthma in all patients or if this just benefits those who had low vitamin D levels to begin with. 

More research is needed.