November 2014

Low Vitamin D Levels Might Increase Asthma Attacks

New research suggests that having low vitamin D levels might increase the risk of asthma attacks in people with asthma.

Vitamin D is found in many foods, including fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also adds to the body's daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to prevent deficiency. People with asthma may have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D may help reduce inflammation, decrease asthma severity, and improve treatment.

In a recent study, researchers analyzed data on 308,000 adults 22-50 years-old with documented vitamin D levels. Of the participants, 21,237, or 6.9 percent, were identified as having asthma diagnosed by a physician.

The researchers found that participants with vitamin D deficiency were 25 percent more likely to experience asthma attacks when compared to those with normal vitamin D levels. However, there was no link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of developing asthma.

The authors concluded that vitamin D levels should be monitored in people with asthma and in those who experience recurrent asthma attacks. Further research is warranted.

For information about vitamin D, please visit Natural Standard’s Food, Herbs & Supplements Database.

For information about integrative therapies for asthma, please visit Natural Standard’s Comparative Effectiveness Database.


  1. Confino-Cohen R, Brufman I, Goldberg A, et al. Vitamin D, asthma prevalence and asthma exacerbations: a large adult population-based study. Allergy. 2014 Dec;69(12):1673-80.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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