Regular vitamin D supplements could reduce risk of severe asthma attacks
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.
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.
This is an exciting result, but some caution is warranted
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.
A study of sufferers of low to mild asthma could benefit from regular vitamin D intake, study found
“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.”
The breathing condition tends to be long-term and can cause coughing, wheezing and breathlessness
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.
“Further analyses to investigate this question are ongoing, and results should be available in the next few months.”