Another article showing the relationship of childhood asthma and vitamin D levels in children has just been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
In this article, Daniel Searing, Donald Y M Leung, and colleagues at the national Jewish Hospital in Denver looked at the relationship between vitamin D insufficiency and childhood asthma and specifically the relationship with the use of corticosteroids.
They evaluated 100 asthmatic children for vitamin D levels and their degree of asthma.
There was a significant positive correlation between the vitamin D blood level in the children and their FEV levels. FEV stands for forced expiratory volume and is a measure of how quickly and how forcefully, a child can blow out air from his or her lungs. With asthma, a child has difficulty in blowing air out quickly.
In addition,the amount of required steroid inhalers as well as oral steroids showed a significant inverse relationship with the child's vitamin D levels. In other words the higher the children's vitamin D level was the less they needed steroids. Inhaled steroids are the standard of care for childhood asthma.
A side correlation of some surprise to me was found in the study. That is that the number of positive inhalant allergies as tested by a skin prick tests correlated significantly with lower the vitamin D levels. In other words allergy tests were more positive in the children with low vitamin D.
Another finding was in the test tube. What they found was that vitamin D enhanced the activity of steroids on an important protein that reduces inflammation and asthma. That would mean that a child's inhaled steroids will work better if their vitamin D levels are higher.
This study is yet one more in the ongoing research of the relationship between vitamin D levels and childhood asthma. Vitamin D deficiency is also correlated with the two other epidemics of childhood in America. These are juvenile diabetes and autism.