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Asthma & Vitamin D

By February 25, 2010

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If you are a woman over the age of 40, you probably know that you should be taking Vitamin D. Unfortunately, many women don't get enough. But did you know that not getting enough Vitamin D might be affecting your asthma?

According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, vitamin D may slow the progressive decline in lung function resulting from airway remodeling over time. In airway remodeling certain types of smooth muscle grow more prominent, cause inflammation, and can cause damage to the lungs. The researchers believe that the remodeling can possibly be prevented or slowed down if adequate amounts of vitamin D are consumed.

The researchers found that vitamin D decreased growth of smooth muscle inflammation in the lungs of 12 volunteers more than other potent anti-inflammatories. While the studies are preliminary, they continue to study vitamin D as an asthma therapy. According to a press release, the authors are going to preform a randomized controlled trial to determine the effect of vitamin D supplementation on patients with severe asthma.

How much vitamin D do you take? Would you consider taking more if studies end up demonstrating that it might improve your asthma?

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Comments
February 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm
(1) Milton Hare says:

Vitamin D taken in higher doses (4,000-8,000 iu per day) reduces auto-immune disease symptoms across the board. Take 4,000 iu of Vitamin D daily and you can expect reduced high blood pressure, high blood sugar, asthma and COPD symptoms, rheumatic arthritis pain, gingivitis. The current RDA of 400 iu is way too low, reflecting Vitamin D’s role in uploading calcium but ignoring its recently discovered roles which are regulation of the immune system, a strong antiinflammatory effect and a role in slowing down the proliferation of cancer cells. If your doctor has read the recent research on Vitamin D he or she will ask you to routinely take a 25(OH)D Vitamin D test. Kaiser HMO sets the normal range at 30-100 ng/ml. If you have been taking 4,000 iu of Vitamin D for three months before your test, you will probably fall in this range. Most researchers feel optimal levels are above 50 ng/ml. I take 8,000 iu/day and my test result was 84 ng/ml, well within the normal range. I am 65 and I do get regular sun exposure at noon. Once you get your test results you can adjust your dose upward or downward, depending on the results. If you cannot afford a test, take at least 4,000 iu per day the rest of your life. You’ll breathe easier. All research has shown that up to 10,000 iu per day is perfectly safe. Factors that call for a higher dose include dark skin color, age and obesity. Look at Reinhold Vieth, Toronto, Vitamin D dosage. Also, VitaminDCouncil.org provides documented research on many Vitamin D issues.

February 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm
(2) Lere says:

D is for don’t.

most people in northern latitudes have a deficiency that needs to be corrected, true?.

RECOMMENDED Summer Sunlight Exposure Levels Can Produce Sufficient (20 ng ml−1) but Not the Proposed Optimal (32 ng ml−1) 25(OH)D Levels at UK Latitudes
Note that “only 2.9 % have proposed optimal levels of 32  ng/ ml”
Now why is it that 97% of people have lower concentrations of vitamin D in their blood than the putative ‘optimum’ ? Could it have something to do with this
IN the Framingham study the lowest cardiovascular disease risks were found in participants with with baseline 25(OD)D levels of 20 to 25 ng/ml, but increased with both higher and lower values suggesting that increased cardiovascular risk occurred at levels below 30 ng/ml.”
The heart attack risk is increased at lower levels than are now being considered optimum levels, that’s just one disease so maybe there is a trade off and on balance the attaining the higher levels and reducing risks of all the other diseases will lead to a longer heathier life?

IN NHANES III higher mortality was observed in participants with 25 OH)D above 49ng/ml”.
That English UVB exposure does not put vitamin D levels up to 32 nm/ml in 97 % of people is obviously because
either :-
A – Natural selection hasn’t got round to it yet, 97% of the English are still adapted to running around with no clothes on.
or

B – It wouldn’t be good for them to have levels that high.

February 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm
(3) Lere says:

Mad dogs and ….

CONTRARY to what is expected, many studies have come to the conclusion that vitamin D concentrations are generally higher among people in northern Europe than among people in southern Europe [30], [31]. Our average serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are in line with the earlier Swedish values estimated in the MORE study [30]. These values were, independent of season, approximately 30% higher than the average among people from central and southern Europe. The results have been explained by a diet containing more vitamin D-fortified foods, lighter skin and wearing lighter clothing when being outdoors during the summer [30], [31]. Our results indicate that our genes, as well as environmental factors, contribute to our vitamin D status. Higher vitamin D concentrations in northern countries may have a genetic basis.

Why are Europeans white?

For a given amount of sun whites will have higher levels of vitamin D than blacks for genetic reasons, in fact they have higher levels for the same exposure than even southern Europeans. There are dangers in humans of tropical ancestry trying to raise their vitamin d levels to Northern Europeans’ natural levels, let alone trying to attain the very high putative ‘optimums’ that are now close to being officially recommended for everbody and which only 3% of English people reach with normal sun exposure.

UNFORTUNATLY our norms for adequate vitamin intake are based on subjects or populations of European origin. We are thus diagnosing vitamin-D deficiency in non-European individuals who are, in fact, perfectly normal. This is particularly true for African Americans, nearly half of whom are classified as vitamin-D deficient, even though few show signs of calcium deficiency—which would be a logical outcome. Indeed, this population has less osteoporosis, fewer fractures, and a higher bone mineral density than do Euro-Americans, who generally produce and ingest more vitamin D .
[...]
By pathologizing non-Europeans as being vitamin-D deficient, modern medicine is paving the way for programs that are well intentioned but ultimately tragic in their consequences: mass vitamin-D supplementation to be dispensed through the school system and awareness campaigns. Such public health programs have already been proposed for African Americans and northern indigenous peoples.

What will be the outcome of raising vitamin-D levels in these populations? Keep in mind that we are really talking about a hormone, not a vitamin. This hormone interacts with the chromosomes and gradually shortens their telomeres if concentrations are either too low or too high. Tuohimaa (2009) argues that optimal levels may lie in the range of 40-60 nmol/L. In non-European populations the range is probably lower. It may also be narrower in those of tropical origin, since their bodies have not adapted to the wide seasonal variation of non-tropical humans.

If this optimal range is continually exceeded, the long-term effects may look like those of aging.”

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