Want to Avoid an Asthma Attack? Turn to the Sun
Vitamin D could be the answer for reducing symptoms related to asthma.
A new study shows that the "sunshine" vitamin can soothe the overactive part of the immune system in patients with severe asthma. Although using vitamin D has not yet been tested for treating asthma, the study results may provide some hope for patients with asthma strains that are resistant to steroids, or those who want to avoid the harmful side effects of steroids, which are drugs commonly used to treat asthma.
For the study, researchers examined the effect vitamin D had on a chemical in the body called interleukin-17 (IL-17A), which is used to fight off infections in the immune system. Although the chemical is essential to the immune system, it is also associated with making asthma worse and reducing the effectiveness of steroids for treating it.
The study included 28 asthma patients, 18 of whom had steroid-resistant asthma. Researchers also recruited a control group of 10 healthy patients with no asthma symptoms. They found that the asthma patients had significantly higher levels of IL-17A than the control group. The group with steroid-resistant asthma had the highest levels of IL-17A.
It was also discovered that steroids did not lower the production of IL-17A in cells of the asthma patients. Vitamin D, on the other hand, reduced the production of the chemical, with the potential of reducing asthma symptoms greatly.
With further research, it is highly possible that vitamin D may one day be prescribed to all asthma patients.
If you have asthma or if you are simply curious about the benefits of using nutrition to better your health, your chiropractor is a valuable resource. Previous research has shown that chiropractic care can relieve asthma and improve lung function. Chiropractors are also experts of holistic medicine and can counsel patients about nutrition and other ways to treat and prevent disease without the use of drugs.
Nanzer A, Chambers E, et al. Enhanced production of IL-17A in patients with severe asthma is inhibited by1a, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in a glucocorticoid-independent fashion. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 17 May 2013; doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.03.037.