Researchers Dr. Jay Kolls, Professor and Chair of Genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and colleagues, have ‘found that vitamin D may be an effective therapeutic agent to treat or prevent allergy to a common mold that can complicate asthma and frequently affects patients with Cystic Fibrosis,’ reports Medical News Today.
One of the most prevalent fungal organisms inhaled by people, Aspergillus fumigatus does not generally cause problems for most people. For those with asthma and Cystic Fibrosis, though, this common mold can trigger severe allergic symptoms. However, only a certain subset of patients develop the allergy; the reason for this disparity is what the researchers set out to determine.
They found that those with heightened reactivity to the mold had a lower average blood level of vitamin D than those who exhibited less reactivity. Dr. Jay Kolls summarizes: ‘We found that adding vitamin D not only substantially reduced the production of the protein driving an allergic response, but it also increased production of the proteins that promote tolerance.’
Low vitamin D levels are dangerous for other reasons as well. Recent studies have indicated that low levels may contribute to heart disease, a higher risk of diabetes, some cancers, and depression, in addition to asthma, colds, and respiratory disorders. As Dr. Kolls puts it, ‘Our study provides further evidence that vitamin D appears to be broadly associated with human health.’
Image courtesy of sckin.org