Vitamin D helps fend Asthma attacks According to New Study
A new study of Japanese schoolchildren, vitamin D supplements taken during the winter and early spring helped prevent seasonal flu and asthma attacks states according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Press reports reflect that the idea for the study came from an earlier study looking at whether vitamin D could help prevent the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The researchers in that study noticed that people taking vitamin D were three times less likely to report cold and flu symptoms.
During the study, conducted between December 2008 and March 2009, 31 of 167 children taking placebo caught influenza A, the most common form of the virus, compared with only 18 of 167 taking vitamin D.
The vitamin D group was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Vitamin D also appeared to suppress asthma attacks in children with a history of asthma. Two children taking vitamin D had asthma attacks during the study, compared to 12 children taking placebo. Urashima admitted to being a bit surprised by this finding and hopes to confirm it in a randomized trial targeting children with asthma.
Based on the current study, giving kids vitamin D supplements during the winter may help reduce cases of influenza A, the researchers conclude. Urashima suggests that children could take 1,200 IU per day starting in September to prevent flu and asthma attacks during the flu season, but best for parents to check with their pediatrician first.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online March 10, 2010.