Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Have asthma? Get your vitamin D level checked.

Have asthma?  Get your vitamin D level checked.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey 2011, 41.6% of people are deficient in Vitamin D.  Who has the highest rates of deficiency?  In blacks it was 82.1% and in Hispanics 69.2%.  (Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults)

Why is this important for patients with asthma?  Low levels of vitamin D in kids and adults in some studies are associated with poor asthma control, reduced lung function, increased medications intake and increased exacerbations.  Severe and uncontrolled adult asthma is associated with vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency.

More studies are still needed to prove this association, supplementation and restoration to normal levels of > 30 ng/ml lead to improved control, less medication, few exacerbations, and improved lung function.  

What are some natural ways to increase your vitamin D?  Get some sunshine- 1 hour a day of direct light activates your skin to naturally produce vitamin D.  Want to eat your vitamin D?  Most dairy products contain vitamin D along with mushrooms, eggs, oysters and fortified tofu.  

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