Can a Vitamin D supplementation prevent asthma attacks?

A recent Cochrane review which was presented at a congress of the European Respiratory Society in London provides evidence that an oral supplementation with Vitamin D in addition to standard asthma medication might be able to reduce asthma attacks.

According to this review, results of nine studies suggest that vitamin D does not improve liver function or daily symptoms. However, it has been associated with a reduced risk of severe attacks requiring a steroid therapy, hospitalisation or an emergency department visit.

The main author, Professor Adrian Martineau from the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research in London said that the result was indeed exciting and also added that this should be interpreted with caution.

"First of all the results regarding severe asthma attacks only come from three studies: Most of the patients involved in these studies were adults with a light or moderate form of asthma. Additional vitamin D studies with children and adults suffering from a severe form of asthma are needed in order to find out if those patient groups benefit as well. Second, it is not clear yet if a supplementation with vitamin D can reduce the risk for severe asthma attacks with all patients or if this effect can only be seen with those persons that has a low vitamin D level to begin with. Further analyses to answer these questions are being undertaken and we expect the results within the next couple of months", he said.

Sources for the download
Martineau AR, Cates CJ, Urashima M, Jensen M, Griffiths AP, Nurmatov U, Sheikh A, Griffiths CJ. Vitamin D for the management of asthma.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2016, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD011511. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD011511.pub2.