In light of these articles, I think it is prudent and wise for almost all people who live in temperate climates who spend most of their time indoors to supplement with a Vitamin D supplement daily. In particular those who have Asthma or who suffer repeat respiratory infections, like colds, flu etc. during the winter months should definatley be taking a Vitamin D supplement daily in order to prevent any deficiency.
A general maintenance dose for an adult would be in the range of around 5,000iu per day, and for those neding to take it therapeutically like in cases of Asthma, taking as much as 20,000iu daily for a month or two during the winter months in particular would likely confer a great degree of benefit.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Vitamin D deficiency has been rediscovered as a public-health problem worldwide. It has been postulated that vitamin D deficiency may explain a portion of the asthma epidemic. The purpose of this review is to present the evidence for a role of vitamin D in asthma.
RECENT FINDINGS: Both animal models and studies in human fetal tissues show that vitamin D plays a role in fetal lung growth and maturation. Epidemiologic studies have also suggested that higher prenatal vitamin D intakes have a protective role against wheezing illnesses in young children. Vitamin D may protect against wheezing illnesses through its role in upregulating antimicrobial proteins or through its multiple immune effects. In addition, vitamin D may play a therapeutic role in steroid resistant asthmatics, and lower vitamin D levels have recently been associated with higher risks for asthma exacerbations.
SUMMARY: Improving vitamin D status holds promise in primary prevention of asthma, in decreasing exacerbations of disease, and in treating steroid resistance. However, the appropriate level of circulating vitamin D for optimal immune functioning remains unclear. Because vitamin D deficiency is prevalent even in sun-replete areas, clinical trials are needed to definitively answer questions about the role of vitamin D in asthma.
In the 1960s, the prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases began to increase worldwide. Currently, the burden of the disease is more than 300 million people affected. We hypothesize that as populations grow more prosperous, more time is spent indoors, and there is less exposure to sunlight, leading to decreased cutaneous vitamin D production. Coupled with inadequate intake from foods and supplements, this then leads to vitamin D deficiency, particularly in pregnant women, resulting in more asthma and allergy in their offspring. Vitamin D has been linked to immune system and lung development in utero, and our epidemiologic studies show that higher vitamin D intake by pregnant mothers reduces asthma risk by as much as 40% in children 3 to 5 years old. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with obesity, African American race (particularly in urban, inner-city settings), and recent immigrants to westernized countries, thus reflecting the epidemiologic patterns observed in the asthma epidemic. Providing adequate vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy may lead to significant decreases in asthma incidence in young children.
Over the past decade, interest has grown in the role of vitamin D in many nonskeletal medical conditions, including respiratory infection. Emerging evidence indicates that vitamin D-mediated innate immunity, particularly through enhanced expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (hCAP-18), is important in host defenses against respiratory tract pathogens. Observational studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency increases risk of respiratory infections. This increased risk may contribute to incident wheezing illness in children and adults and cause asthma exacerbations. Although unproven, the increased risk of specific respiratory infections in susceptible hosts may contribute to some cases of incident asthma. Vitamin D also modulates regulatory T-cell function and interleukin-10 production, which may increase the therapeutic response to glucocorticoids in steroid-resistant asthma. Future laboratory, epidemiologic, and randomized interventional studies are needed to better understand vitamin D's effects on respiratory infection and asthma.