Did you know that vitamin D could be the secret to helping you get some relief? Researchers at Louisiana State University (LSU) in New Orleans shed important light on how this vitamin can help patients manage common allergies. LSU scientists pinpointed vitamin D deficiencies in patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis (both of which can affect the lungs). They were more susceptible to experience a serious immune system response to mold, a condition called Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA).

These scientists gave vitamin D supplements to participants to counteract their extreme response to vitamin D deficiencies. The results were quite compelling. Vitamin D supplements successfully helped participants head off severe allergic reactions on two levels: Vitamin D increased a protein in the body that helped build up a tolerance to allergens, and it also decreased a protein that caused the body's over-response to them. Both of these results may be key in helping prevent allergies, or at least treat a reaction.

These findings reinforce a host of information that currently exists about vitamin D and health. Many studies have revealed that people with low levels of this essential vitamin (which the body produces when exposed to the sun) could be at increased risk for a number of diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and asthma.

What This Means for You

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies is in the process of developing updated vitamin D recommendations for adults. In the meantime, speak to your doctor to find out exactly how much you need for your age and health status. Even if you don't have asthma or cystic fibrosis, getting adequate levels of vitamin D may still help your allergies.


Environmental Illness Resource

Harvard School of Public Health

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Science Daily

US News and World Report