Vitamin D could be used to treat asthma

20 May 2013

Vitamin D may be an effective way to treat asthma symptoms, in conjunction with prescription medication. This is according to breakthrough healthcare research, conducted at King’s College London. In the new study, scientists found that the vitamin decreased levels of a natural chemical in the body, called interleukin-17, which exacerbates asthma symptoms.

Researcher Catherine Hawrylowicz said: “We know people with high levels of vitamin D are better able to control their asthma - that connection is quite striking.”

When researchers added vitamin D to blood samples taken from 28 patients, it significantly lowered levels of interleukin-17 - a chemical that’s largely responsible for immune system reactions and the body’s ability to stave off infections. In asthma patients, this chemical becomes overactive, resulting in worsened symptoms, trouble breathing, and reduced responsiveness to commonly prescribed steroid medication. As such, vitamin D could help make prescription treatment more effective, especially for those with severe asthma.

A vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to several types of cancer. To find out if you should be taking vitamin D supplements or getting a little more sun, arrange to have a one-off mineral level test conducted by Spire Healthcare professionals.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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