Claims of Vitamin D positively impacting health are among the best-supported health claims of any vitamins or supplements. While technically a class of hormones, Vitamin D has been shown to support bone health, muscle health, and lower all-cause mortality rates. New research offers some hard numbers that illustrate just how much of a positive impact this natural compound can have on our health.
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Low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D925[OH]D (Vitamin D) have been connected to nearly every disease imaginable. These conditions include, but certainly are not limited to, metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, cancer, mental health, and also general issues of inflammation . Recent research from Queen Mary University of London, under sponsorship of the National Institute for Health Research, analyzed data for nearly 1000 people across different studies involving Vitamin D use. Their research found Vitamin D supplementation lead to a 50% decrease in asthma attacks requiring emergency care or hospitalization and a 30% reduction of attacks requiring steroidal treatments . Vitamin D has previously been shown to have a powerful connection to health and well-being though little has been offered to describe the specifics of its impact. This new research provides insight into the functional role of Vitamin D in supporting healthy respiration and reducing asthma attacks.
Vitamin D and Health
Vitamin D impacts fetal lung growth and maturation in both animal and human studies. Related studies suggest prenatal vitamins higher in Vitamin D concentration may reduce the risk of asthma as well . This information isn’t new, but also didn’t offer many specifics upon the time of analysis. This new research helps illustrate just how much of an impact Vitamin D can have on asthma-specific related concerns. To be certain—Vitamin D also impacts many other aspects of health as well. In fact, research suggests that despite age, race, gender, or geographic location; adequate levels of Vitamin D can help increase life expectancy . This is described in medical terminology as lowering ‘All-Cause Mortality Rates,’ which basically means that Vitamin D can help lower the death rate associated with any disease, for any person, anywhere in the world. It’s a bold claim—though initial research seems to be well supported.
Vitamin D has been shown time and time again to play a major role in our health and well-being. It plays a role in the health development of lung tissue and respiratory function, supports bone health and energy levels, and now is understood to reduce asthma attacks by as much as half, in some cases. There is much debate about the amount of Vitamin D that should be supplemented. The official recommended daily allowance (RDA) is around 400IU for adults, though many health professionals argue that 4000IU would be closer to an adequate dosage. The only way to know if you are suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency is to be tested. There are home test kits available, such as the Vitamin D Test from ZRT Laboratory, which can be used for ongoing monitoring. It’s a good idea to periodically have your doctor run a more professional test to confirm any such home kit results. Also, as a general rule of thumb, Vitamin D levels are noted as being lower during non-Summer months. It’s generally recommended by health professionals to seek an increase of Vitamin D3 through diet or supplementation during these times.
- Beasley, Richard, and Mark Weatherall. Vitamin D supplementation to prevent asthma exacerbations: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 3 Oct. 2017, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(17)30346-6.
- Autier P, Boniol M, Pizot C, Mullie P. Vitamin D status and ill health: a systematic review. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2014;2(1):76-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(13)70165-7
- Litonjua AA. Childhood asthma may be a consequence of vitamin D deficiency. Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology. 2009;9(3):202-207. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACI.0b013e32832b36cd.
- Schöttker B, Jorde R, Peasey A, et al. Vitamin D and mortality: meta-analysis of individual participant data from a large consortium of cohort studies from Europe and the United States. BMJ. 2014;348:g3656. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3656