Vitamin D, otherwise known as “Sunshine Vitamin” is well familiar among the whole mass, as it is known to be vital for several bodily functions such as calcium absorption, neuromuscular and immune function and more. Vitamin D acquired from sun exposure, food, and supplements are biologically static and it must go through two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first hydroxylation happens in the liver, where the vitamin D get converted into calcidiol followed by the formation of calcitriol as a result of the second hydroxylation occurs in Kidney.
Earlier Studies on Vitamins have shown some immense health benefits associated with the intake of Vitamin D. Moreover, it is proven that its deficiency can cause serious troubles such as Rickets, osteomalacia and more. And guess what! vitamin D deficiency is now a global health issue affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.
Let’s get to the core now. Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of researchers who review medical evidence based on high-quality rules recently found out that Vitamin D consumption along with usual Asthma medication can have the risk of asthma attack. In the light of this, Professor Adrian Martineau, the chief researcher said: “These results add to the ever-growing body of evidence that vitamin D can support immune function as well as bone health”.
So now, the question arises. Is asthma that huge hazard? Yes, it is. Recent figures unveil an estimated 250,000 annual deaths with over 300 million asthma sufferers worldwide.
The Cochrane team carried out a 7-trial process which includes a total of 438 children along with 2 studies on 658 adults. And they concluded that people who consumed oral Vitamin supplement have experienced a much lower risk of severe asthma attacks. In fact, asthma attacks those demanding hospital admission or emergency department depleted from 6% to 3%.
Asthma is more of a common yet chronic disease among both children and adults now.And it is said that in Britain itself, Asthma claims approximately 3 lives per day. This increased rate of death is due to chronic upper respiratory infections and low blood levels. Vitamin D can help reduce upper respiratory infections, which can steer to exacerbations of asthma. It also supports the immune responses to respiratory viruses, hence reducing inflammation of the airways.
Vitamin D can be obtained from natural sources, no doubt in that. But considering today’s climatic conditions, thinking from the safety perspective, a lot of us constrict ourselves from those resources. UVB is the key factor for stimulating the production of vitamin D in the skin, is also considered as a risk factor for skin cancer. However, one should always ensure maintaining the normal Vitamin D levels during Winter by taking their regular vitamin supplements.
Further researches and trials are ongoing and we need more detailed datasets to confirm the findings. Lend an ear to Dr. David Jolliffe from the Queen Mary University of London “Our results are largely based on data from adults with mild to moderate asthma: children and adults with severe asthma were relatively under-represented in the dataset, so our findings cannot necessarily be generalized to these patient groups at this stage.