Great news for asthma sufferers: Researchers have found a simple, natural way to cut the risk of a severe asthma attack in half.
Asthma is an enormous and sometimes deadly health threat to the 25 million Americans who have it. More 3,000 people a year in the U.S. die from the lung illness.1
Researchers from the Cochrane Review gathered data from seven double-blind placebo-controlled studies of vitamin D’s ability to prevent asthma attacks.2
The studies involved 435 children and 658 adults. They all had mild to severe asthma.
Patients continued to take their usual asthma medications. But one group added a 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily vitamin D supplement. The other group took a placebo.
Taking vitamin D cut the risk of a severe asthma attack in half, researchers found.
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Among the group that took a placebo, 6% suffered attacks so severe they had to be hospitalized. But only 3% of vitamin D takers required hospitalization.3 The studies lasted between six and 12 months.
Professor Adrian Martineau is the lead author of the study review. He is a researcher at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Queen Mary University of London. He said, “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.”4
The findings were presented recently at the European Respiratory Society Congress in London.
The researchers do not know if vitamin D supplements benefit all asthma sufferers or just those with a vitamin D deficiency. They have begun further analysis to answer this question.
The scientists also noted that taking a supplement lowers the risk of severe attacks, but does not seem to lessen the daily symptoms of asthma.5
Whether you have asthma or not, vitamin D is linked to a wide variety of health benefits. Studies show it cuts the risk of heart disease, obesity, flu, depression, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis.6
To make sure you get an adequate amount, get 20 minutes of sunlight each day with your arms and legs exposed. Eat plenty of foods high in vitamin D, such as wild-caught salmon, pastured eggs, and organic mushrooms.
And if you don’t do either of those two things, take a D3 supplement. We recommend a dosage of 5,000 IUs a day.
Professor Martineau notes that vitamin D is the closest thing there is to a wonder supplement.
“Vitamin D, as well as enhancing bone development, helps the development of at least 35 other tissues and white blood cells,” he says. “This can boost immunity and dampen down inflammation.”7
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch