Low Vitamin D Levels Do NOT Increase Asthma Risk Or Skin Condition Dermatitis

VITAMIN D - also known as the sunshine vitamin - has been linked to cures and treatment for asthma and for skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. However a new study has suggested the vitamin could have no impact on the health conditions.

Vitamin D is vital for people to absorb dietary calcium and phosphate, and to maintain healthy bones, muscles and immunity.

Public Health England recently recommended that everyone takes a supplement supplying 10mcg (400 IU) vitamin D per day during autumn and winter.

However, now experts have found the vitamin might not be as effective as a therapy for asthma or dermatitis.

Experts have previously believed low vitamin D levels are associated with increased rates of asthma, atopic dermatitis - an itchy inflammation of the skin.

A study published in Plos Medicine has found no statistically significant difference between rates of asthma, atopic dermatitis and IgE, an immune molecule linked to atopic disease, with lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

The review was conducted by Brent Richards, of McGill University, Canada, and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, Canada.

Researchers looked at genetic and health data on more than 100,000 individuals from previous large studies to determine whether genetic alterations that are associated with vitamin D levels predispose people to asthma, dermatitis, or high IgE levels.

“Our findings suggest that previous associations between low vitamin D and atopic disease could be due to spurious associations with other factors," said Dr Despoina Manousaki, the lead author and a PhD student at the Lady Davis Institute.

”Efforts to increase vitamin D levels will probably not result in decreased risk of adult and pediatric asthma, atopic dermatitis, or elevated IgE levels."

"Our previous findings suggest that low vitamin D levels increase risk for some inflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis, but these effects do not translate to other inflammatory diseases like asthma and atopic dermatitis," said Dr Richards.

However, the vital substance also has has a range of other health benefits.

A large analysis of data from 14 studies, involving over 25,000 women, found that those with the highest vitamin D levels were less likely to develop breast cancer.

Overall, every 10 ng/mL increment in vitamin D concentration was associated with a significant 3.2 per cent reduction in breast cancer risk. 

Experts also found a daily dose of vitamin D3 can dramatically improve heart function in people with chronic heart failure, British researchers have found.

Dr Klaus Witte, who led the five-year research project at the University of Leeds said: “The improvements seen in patients taking the vitamin were ‘nothing short of amazing’, and called his team's findings a ‘significant breakthrough’.

Vitamin D has also been linked to a decreased risk of diabetes.

Data from 21 studies, involving over 76,000 people, showed that those with the highest vitamin D levels were 62 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest levels.

In this case, each 10 nmol/L increment in vitamin D levels was associated with a 4 per cent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The most likely explanation is that vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity to better regulate glucose control.

This comes after it was revealed too much Vitamin D could be toxic.

Vitamin D has also been linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

Experts believe a boost of vitamin D can stabilise bowel movements - and reduce some of the symptoms associated with the condition.