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Aspergillus

A R T I C L E

► allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

Vitamin D may Prevent Asthma Complications

By Dr. Kristie

Asthma is a difficult disease, especially for those who participate in sports - and most asthmatics would love to have a natural alternative to reduce their risk of asthma attacks. Vitamin D for asthma has shown promise for improving lung function in people with asthma, but a new study shows it may be especially important for people who have asthma and sensitivity to a common environmental mold.

Vitamin D for Asthma

Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental mold that doesn’t usually cause problems for normal people. But for people with asthma or another lung disease, cystic fibrosis, this mold can cause a serious allergic reaction involving the lungs called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. This condition not only makes asthma symptoms worse; it can lead to scarring of the lungs. Bronchopulmonary aspergillosis occurs in up to fifteen percent of asthmatics.

Low Levels of Vitamin D and Asthma

According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, low levels of vitamin D increases the risk of developing this allergic reaction that can lead to lung scarring in people who have asthma.

They found when an asthmatic has low levels of vitamin D, it increases the activity of a protein that drives the allergic response to the Aspergillus mold. When they added vitamin D to cells isolated from people with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis it caused less of this protein to be produced, which decreased the allergic response. Good news for people who suffer from asthma!

Low Levels of Vitamin D and Environmental Mold

Vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing this severe allergic reaction in asthmatics, but it could make life a little easier for people with cystic fibrosis too. People who suffer from cystic fibrosis are also more susceptible to allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Low levels of vitamin D are common in people with cystic fibrosis, since they don’t absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D well.

Low Levels of Vitamin D and Asthma: The Bottom Line?

Asthmatics and people with cystic fibrosis should have their vitamin D levels closely monitored to ensure they’re not deficient. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a whole host of other medical problems, and it’s important to get enough of the “sunshine vitamin” to ensure good health – whether you’re asthmatic or not.

References:

Eurekalert website. "Research concludes vitamin D may treat or prevent allergy to common mold"


About the Author

She is a Medical Doctor with a concentration in Family Practice. She also has an undergraduate degree in both Biology and Psychology and masters in Clinical Pathology.


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