Asthma/AllergyVitamin D

Vitamin D improves the response to steriods in asthmatics

Patients with asthma experience a variable response to inhaled corticosteroids.

Researchers from National Jewish Health, in Denver, Colorado studied the effect of vitamin D levels on this response.

First, the details.

  • 54 nonsmoking adult asthmatics were studied.
  • The relationships between 25(OH)D (vitamin D) concentrations and lung function, airway hyperresponsiveness, and response to inhaled steroids were measured.

And, the results.

  • Higher vitamin D levels were significantly associated with greater lung function, with a 21 mL increase in FEV1 for each ng/mL increase in vitamin D.
    • FEV1 (Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second) is the volume of air forced out of the lungs in 1 second after taking a deep breath. It’s an important measure of lung function.
  • Vitamin D insufficiency (less then 30 ng/mL) was associated with increased airway responsiveness (hypersensitivity to irritants).

The bottom line?

Low vitamin D levels were associated with impaired lung function, increased airway hyperresponsiveness, and reduced glucocorticoid response.

The authors concluded, “Supplementation of vitamin D levels in patients with asthma may improve multiple parameters of asthma severity and treatment response.”

Talk to your doctor.

1/31/10 10:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.