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November 2010

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Two new studies add to link between Vitamin D levels and control of asthma symptoms. 

During the last 12 months a number of studies have appeared suggesting that asthmatics would benefit from maintaining optimal levels of Vitamin D. A summary of these previous findings can be seen in an earlier newsletter available here.

This month, two further studies have been published that add additional strength to this recommendation.

None of the previous studies had examined the relationship between Vitamin D levels and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in asthmatic children. A new study conducted in Italy evaluated the relationship between Vitamin D concentrations and changes in lung function after a standardized exercise challenge in 45 children with intermittent asthma. (1)

A positive correlation was found between Vitamin D and changes in lung function tests, both FVC and FEV1.

Children with lower vitamin D levels developed more severe asthmatic symptoms after exercise challenge that did children with higher Vitamin D levels. The differences were quite dramatic and statistically significant.  

The authors concluded that lower levels of Vitamin D are associated with reduced lung function and with increased reactivity to exercise. 

Also of significance is that only 11% of the children had desirable serum Vitamin D levels (30 to 40ngˇmL) at baseline despite that fact that they live in a country with good exposure to the sun. As has been seen in other studies, changes in life style are resulting in low Vitamin D levels worldwide.

In another study the same group of researchers studied the relationship between Vitamin D levels and baseline lung function and levels of asthma control, in 75 children with asthma (age range 5-11 years; 43 males) during the winter and early spring. (2) 


Only 9.4% of children had a sufficient Vitamin D levels (at least 30 to 40 ng/mL).


A significant positive correlation was found between lung function and Vitamin D levels. Subjects with well-controlled asthma had higher serum levels of Vitamin D than children with partially controlled or noncontrolled asthma.


The researchers concluded that lower levels of Vitamin D are associated with reduced asthma control.

 (2)Vitamin D Serum Levels and Markers of Asthma Control in Italian Children.Chinellato I, Piazza M, Sandri M, Peroni D, Piacentini G, Boner AL.J Pediatr. 2010 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]


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