Taking Vitamin D supplements could REDUCE risk of severe asthma attacks by HALF

Asthma attack vitamin D supplement

Regular vitamin D supplements could reduce risk of severe asthma attacks

Scientists have also discovered Vitamin D, known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, reduces the need for sufferers to take steroid tablets after an attack.

The “exciting” findings offer hope to the 5.4 million Britons currently receiving treatment for asthma – which equates to one in every 12 adults and one in every 11 children.

The breathing condition tends to be long-term and can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness, with the severity of these symptoms varying from person to person.

It is known a low level of Vitamin D in the blood is linked to increased risk of asthma attacks in sufferers.

But the research found Vitamin D could also play a role in asthma management by helping to reduce upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold, that can lead to exacerbations of asthma.

Several clinical trials have tested whether taking Vitamin D as a supplement has an effect on asthma attacks, symptoms and lung function in children and adults with asthma.

And the new wide ranging Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library, examined seven trials involving 435 children and two studies, involving 658 adults, from around the world.

This is an exciting result, but some caution is warranted

Lead author Professor Adrian Martineau

The majority had mild to moderate asthma, and a minority had severe asthma.

Most people continued to take their usual asthma medication while participating in the studies lasting between six and 12 months.

But the researchers found taking oral Vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring A&E visits or hospital admission from six to around three per cent.

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A study of sufferers of low to mild asthma could benefit from regular vitamin D intake, study found

Lead author Professor Adrian Martineau from the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Queen Mary University of London, explained: “We found that taking a Vitamin D supplement in addition to standard asthma treatment significantly reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks, without causing side effects.

“This is an exciting result, but some caution is warranted.

“First, the findings relating to severe asthma attacks come from just three trials: most of the patients enrolled in these studies were adults with mild or moderate asthma.”

Woman using asthma inhalerGETTY

The breathing condition tends to be long-term and can cause coughing, wheezing and breathlessness

But he stressed more research was needed to examine the relationship between Vitamin D and its effects on reducing severe asthma attacks.

He added: “Further Vitamin D trials in children and in adults with severe asthma are needed to find out whether these patient groups will also benefit.

“Second, it is not yet clear whether Vitamin D supplements can reduce risk of severe asthma attacks in all patients, or whether this effect is just seen in those who have low Vitamin D levels to start with.

“Further analyses to investigate this question are ongoing, and results should be available in the next few months.”