(Natural News) New findings from a Cochrane Review have underscored the importance of vitamin D, particularly for people who struggle with asthma. Evidence from a number of randomized trials shows that supplementing with vitamin D can help reduce severe asthma attacks. While the “sunshine vitamin” is known for its role in calcium absorption and bone health, science continues to prove its importance across the body.
For more than just supporting healthy bones, a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an array of health conditions including depression and even increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Studies have long indicated that this vital nutrient could be essential to asthma sufferers, as well. Research has shown that a lack of vitamin D can contribute to asthma attack risk in both adults and children – and now, scientists are actually trying out vitamin D supplementation as a preventive medicine.
For proponents of modern medicine, the notion of treating a disease like asthma with a supplement, instead of a pharmaceutical, is indeed revolutionary.
Vitamin D to reduce asthma attacks
A team of Cochrane researchers conducted a review of nine vitamin D trials – and found that the nutrient could cut the risk of severe asthma attacks in half. Seven of the studies used a combined total of 435 kids, and two studies featured a total of 658 adults. Most of the people who participated in the studies had mild to moderate asthma, with a few suffering from a severe form of the condition.
Cochrane notes that in most cases, patients continued to use their regular asthma medications alongside the vitamin D supplements.
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As Cochrane reports, the team found that vitamin D supplementation “reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission or emergency department attendance from 6% to around 3%.” The research also indicated that vitamin D supplements greatly reduced the incidence of asthma attacks requiring treatment with steroid tablets. In the doses used for the trials, vitamin D did not cause any side effects, either.
These results were mostly gleaned from studies in adults, and the researchers caution that the findings did not indicate vitamin D could improve lung function or day-to-day asthma symptoms. However, past research has indicated that higher levels of vitamin D correlate with better lung function, while lower levels correlate with reduced lung function.
Review leader Professor Adrian Martineau, from the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research at Queen Mary University of London, commented on the findings, stating, “We found that taking a vitamin D supplement in addition to standard asthma treatment significantly reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks, without causing side effects.”
Other benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D boasts a vast array of health benefits, there’s no doubt about that. In addition to the findings regarding lung health and asthma, research has shown that the “sunshine vitamin” confers a host of other benefits. For example, studies have shown that getting enough vitamin D can help prevent multiple types of cancer. A recent study from University of California San Diego revealed that getting enough vitamin D slashes the risk of breast cancer by at least 11 percent.
In the case of pancreatic cancer, the effects of vitamin D are even more pronounced, with estimates suggesting the nutrient can cut the risk of cancer nearly in half. It’s also been shown to reduce your risk of diabetes.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to many health issues, including depression. It just goes to show that vitamins and minerals really are nature’s best medicine. However, you should always speak with your naturopath or other preferred holistic care provider before beginning any new supplement routines.
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