Vitamin Supplements to Reduce Asthma Flares
About 24 million adults and children in the U.S. are living with asthma—wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, pain and tightness in the chest caused by inflammation of the airways. Asthma is chronic—there is no cure, but symptoms usually can be controlled with medication. According to a new report, vitamin D supplements can help reduce severe asthma attacks in people with the condition.
Earlier studies showed a connection between low levels of vitamin D and asthma attacks. Researchers analyzed information from nine studies to learn more about this connection. Seven of the studies involved children with asthma and two involved adults. Most participants had moderate- to severe-asthma and continued their standard treatment throughout the studies.
Oral vitamin D supplements did not improve overall lung function or every day asthma symptoms, but they did reduce the risk for severe asthma attacks requiring emergency medical treatment from 6 percent to 3 percent. Further research is needed to determine if vitamin D supplements benefit people with asthma who already have normal levels of the vitamin in addition to those who are vitamin D deficient.
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