Vitamin D3 News
Breaking news from:
March 2010
Vol 1 No 23
In This Issue
New placebo controlled trial in infuenza and asthma
This month a placebo controlled trial from Japan demonstrates that Vitamin D supplements dramatically reduce both influenza infections and asthma attacks in children. 
Placebo controlled trial demonstrates Vitamin D supplements dramatically reduce influenza infections and asthma attacks
This week a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provided convincing data that demonstrated Vitamin D can help the body ward off viral infections and asthma attacks.  More than 600 Japanese schoolchildren aged 6-15 were treated from December 2008 through to the end of March 2009 with Vitamin D (1200 IU per day) or placebo (1).
The number of infections with the viruses influenza A and B and the number of asthmatic attacks were assessed. Of note is the fact that influenza A includes the H1N1 strain that was responsible for the pandemic alerts of last year.  
Whether a child had succumbed to influenza over the course of the study was confirmed microbiologically using swabs from the nose/throat. 

Those children taking Vitamin D developed 42 percent fewer infections with influenza B.  The benefits were even more dramatic in children who had not been previously supplementing with Vitamin D, and in these children there was a 64 percent reduction in the infection rate.
Perhaps even more interesting was the reduction in the number of children developing asthma attacks.  Those children taking Vitamin D supplements had a six-fold reduction in the number of asthma attacks.  This difference was found to be highly statistically significant P<0.006) .  
In summary, this is a placebo controlled trial--the gold standard of clinical research-- that demonstrated up to a 60% reduction in the incidence of viral infections and a six-fold reduction in the incidence of asthma attacks.
Also of note is the fact that the dose of Vitamin D3 used, only 1200IU, is low compared to the current recommendations of Vitamin D experts. In addition, the clinical trial only ran for three months. We know that it can take many months of supplementation to
improve Vitamin D levels. Although actual Vitamin D levels were not measured in this study, the relatively low dose used and short study duration would suggest that many of the children would not have reached anywhere near optimal levels of Vitamin D during the trial. Still,the results were dramatic.
Last month we reported two studies that demonstrated Vitamin D deficiency was associated with severe asthma and declining lung function in asthamatics. (link) In addition, preclinical data was reported suggesting that Vitamin D could dramatically reduce the need for steroids in asthma patients. (link)  
These data indicate that maintaining optimal levels of Vitamin D will significantly reduce the incidence of asthma attacks, prevent gradual decline in lung function and reduce dependency on steroids.
1. Urashima M, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr 10th March 2010.

The products and claims made here have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
In the news - The following news releases have been added to the In the News section of This section of the site is updated every few days. Revisit it frequently to learn about the latest research on Vitamin D. Click here for In the News  
Mar 15th 2010, Vitamin D Breakthrough--New data explains the role of Vitamin D in multiple conditions.
Mar 5th 2010, Increased risk of Vitamin D deficiency for people with dark skin

Feb 28th 2010, Vitamin D reduces need for steroids in asthmatics

Feb22nd 2010 More studies show benefits of Vitamin D in heart disease and diabetes
Feb 16th 2010, Experts estimate Vitamin D could reduce cancer deaths by 75%
Feb 6th, 2010 Vitamin D helps asthmatics
Jan 31, 2010-More data suggests Vitamin D lowers risk of  colon cancer.
Jan 27, 2010 Data on Vitamin D reaches tipping point for investor community
Jan 20, 2010-Low Vitamin D levels are associated with greater risk of relapse in childhood-onset Multiple Sclerosis
Editorial Comment   
The data on the effects of Vitamin D deficiency becomes more impressive week by week. Pass on this information to anyone who may be interested and encourage them to sign up for further updates.
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