Vitamin D Linked, Again, to Respiratory Health
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, December 31, 2010
Sunlight exposure, in moderation, is an excellent way to get vitamin D.The link between a lack of vitamin D and allergic conditions is well documented. A recent study, reported in a CNN article titled, "Lack of vitamin D at birth may increase respiratory infection risk", adds to the growing body of evidence regarding the importance of this essential nutrient in relation to respiratory health.

Researchers in New Zealand tested the cord blood of nearly a thousand infants and asked their parents about respiratory infections by the age of three months and wheezing by the age of fifteen months. They checked in with these families every year after that, until the age of five.

As CNN reports, “The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that children who had low vitamin D levels in the cord blood at birth had a higher risk of respiratory infection in their first few months of life, as well as a higher risk of cumulative wheezing in early childhood.”

Although researchers are not certain how vitamin D influences wheezing, one thought is that this nutrient affects the immune system as it develops in utero, as well as during the first months after the baby is born. Another possible explanation is that a mother passes on her habits, such as time spent outdoors, and characteristics, such as skin pigmentation, to her child.

Vitamin D affects many aspects of health, and this new research on its possible role in preventing childhood wheezing is additional confirmation. It is possible, however, to get too much vitamin D. Therefore, it’s best to consult with your physician or your children’s pediatrician about vitamin D supplementation.

For more on vitamin D and allergic conditions, see:

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Allergies and Asthma

Vitamin D Prevents Mold Allergy

Sunlight Exposure, Allergies, and Asthma

Image courtesy of TopNewsHealth

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