Tag Archives: Vitamin D

Why Does Vitamin D work?

Asthma sufferers may benefit more from inhaling vitamin D than the steroids usually prescribed for the condition.  And besides, aren’t we all concerned with side effects from steroids? A new study from the U.K. identifies a mechanism through which the vitamin can significantly reduce asthma symptoms and suggests it may offer a new method of treatment. Continue reading

Vitamin D isn’t just for Rickets anymore!

Sunset at the Florida Keys!
Sunset at the Florida Keys!

While on vacation in the Florida Keys, I was impressed with how quickly my legs and forehead turned from white to lobster red…ouch another sunburn!  Surely there must be some benefit (and definitely beauty) for all this pain.  Your answer awaits….it’s Vitamin D.

Natural medicine and traditional medicine often don’t see “eye to eye”, but Vitamin D is different.  In fact, Vitamin D isn’t a vitamin at all, it’s a hormone.  Vitamins can’t be produced by the body without an external source in foods or other supplements.  Hormones, on the other hand, are manufactured by brain/endocrine cells, and in the case of Vitamin D by the skin. 

So why as an allergist do I really care about getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D?

  • It appears that Vitamin D may be one of the few supplements that reduces infections.  (sinusitis and pneumonia)
  • Vitamin D has a role in reducing allergy and asthma.  This beneficial effect has the proof of clinical trials. 
  • Asthma patients on inhaled corticosteroids are at risk of developing osteoporosis if Vitamin D levels are too low. 
  • Your body can’t utilize calcium if your vitamin D level is low. 
  • If your Vitamin D level isn’t > 30, you need to supplement with 1,000-2,000 units per day. (available over-the-counter)

New Hope 360 says it best in this video:

For the full article, click here– New Hope 360 full article

Is There Anything Vitamin D Doesn’t Cause?

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with exercise-induced paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) in young athletes, according to research presented here at the World Allergy Organization XXII World Allergy Conference (WAC). The study was conducted during the winter in a town above 45 degrees latitude.Exercise can be associated with exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) or laryngospasm, which can be mistaken for asthma. The researchers had previously demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is associated with VCD during a hyperventilation test, especially in hypocapnic conditions.Of the participants, 16 (43%) were atopic and 6 (16%) reported that they had previously been diagnosed with asthma. None used drugs or had had respiratory infections in the previous month, and all had normal results on lung function tests. In isocapnic conditions on hyperventilation testing, 10 participants experienced EIB and 12 experienced exercise-induced VCD. Under hypocapnic conditions, 8 participants experienced EIB and 15 had exercise-induced VCD.Vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol < 25 ng/mL) was recorded in 18 participants (49%). Athletes with exercise-induced VCD had significantly lower serum levels of vitamin D than those without it, in both isocapnic (19.1 ± 1.8 vs 25.7 ± 1.5 ng/mL; P = .013) and hypocapnic (20.2 ± 1.9 vs. 26.2 ± 1.8 ng/mL; P = .029) conditions.

The researchers found no correlation between vitamin D and EIB.

“I think the role of vitamin D and other micronutrients [in respiratory problems] is still poorly understood, and for sure they have a role both in this particular syndrome, but also in airway inflammation and so also asthma. I think it’s an interesting field to be expanded,” Enrico Heffler, MD, PhD, from the University of Torino, Italy, who presented the research at a poster session here, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Heffler also related a previous case study of a patient with severe vitamin D deficiency who experienced VCD and bronchospasm; symptoms and lung function were significantly improved after vitamin D supplementation.

“This study is fascinating because it links vitamin D deficiency to something new. [The researchers] need to do a double-blind placebo-controlled trial in these individuals,” Glenis Scadding, MD, a consultant allergist and rhinologist at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, London, United Kingdom, who attended the session, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Heffler and Dr. Scadding have disclose no relevant financial relationships.

World Allergy Organization XXII World Allergy Conference (WAC); Abstract 3018. Presented December 6, 2011.

Provocative study!

 Or at least as sexy as you can get for a vitamin.  Of all the vitamins out there, vitamin D has the most PROVEN benefit for allergies & asthma.  Remember the cod liver oilWhat we grew up on for Vit D!Of course you don’t….you’re not that old!

Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012;12(1):13-17. © 2012

The importance of vitamin D as an essential nutrient is well known, given its role in calcium and phosphate homeostasis. Over the past two decades, the influence of vitamin D on the immune system has become increasingly clear.  Recent work has elucidated that vitamin D harbors actions more akin to hormones and pro-hormones. The discovery of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) has stimulated more research into the nature of this vitamin which has, subsequently, been shown to be a steroid hormone. This steroid constitutes a component of a complex endocrine pathway termed the ‘Vitamin D endocrine system’.  Investigators have found that vitamin D plays an integral role in the induction of cell differentiation, inhibition of cell growth, immunomodulation, and regulation of other hormonal systems.  This review seeks to highlight the recent research with respect to vitamin D and its role in chronic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).  The results show higher levels of Vit D are associated with fewer problems with allergy and sinusitis.

The effects of Vitamin D

Although these results are extremely compelling, the Mulligan study suffers from a small sample size. Future work may extrapolate these data to a larger patient set, ideally through a prospective study, which would help clarify the role of vitamin D in the pathophysiology of CRS. Systemic vitamin D levels could, potentially, be added to the routine workup of patients suffering from CRS and these data could be used to help determine the disease severity and possibly even treatment. To this end, a recent Polish study evaluated the role of vitamin D in the reduction of fibroblast proliferation in vitro from nasal polyps in patients with CRS.  A statistically significant decrease in fibroblast proliferation was noted with calcitriol and tacalcitol treatment. Furthermore, increasingly higher doses induced a greater suppressive effect on fibroblast proliferation. This study is a first step towards investigating the utility of topical vitamin D analogs for the treatment of CRS.  Wow–topical Vitamin D for treatment of sinusitis?!

Conclusions from this work:

  • Early research suggests that vitamin D is involved in the pathophysiology of chronic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
  • It is intriguing to consider the possibility that abnormal vitamin D blood levels – or even the local tissue concentration of vitamin D – could be a critical influencing factor in chronic rhinitis and CRS pathophysiology.
  • The concept of the unified airway “one airway, one disease” would suggest that similar associations from the asthma literature will be found with regards to allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinitis, and CRS.
  • Randomized controlled trials are needed to further evaluate vitamin D and its relationship to allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinitis, and CRS.
  • These findings may then direct researchers to pursue clinical trials aimed at evaluating vitamin D and its analogs as potential therapeutic interventions.

So…..in other words, OPEN UP!