Vitamin D is surfacing out as a crucial component in terms of tackling lung conditions. Now, experts from King’s College London have found that severe therapy-resistant asthma (STRA) may be more acute and show bad symptoms apparently due to low proportions of Vitamin D in the blood as compared to moderate asthma.
The finding showed that lower levels of vitamin D seemingly causes structural alterations in the airway smooth muscles of kids suffering from STRA, that tends to make breathing more difficult.Most of the children with moderate asthma respond well to low doses of corticosteroids but those with STRA, that is nearly 5 to 10% of them, seem to develop resistance to it. They also experience more severe symptoms and asthma related problems.
As part of the study, 86 children out of which 36 children had STRA, 26 had moderate asthma and 24 in the control group were examined. The scientists then gauged the link between vitamin D, lung function, medicinal utility and symptom exacerbations. Some children also underwent complex bronchoscopies and the tissue samples from the airways of kids with STRA were also analyzed. This helped them determine the structural alterations in the airways smooth muscle.
The outcomes showed that children with STRA supposedly had lower levels of vitamin D along with more exacerbations, more medicine use and weaker lung function when pitted against those with moderate asthma and the control group participants. The STRA group also seemed to have greater airway muscle tissue mass.
Lead author, Dr Atul Gupta, commented, “This study clearly demonstrates that low levels of vitamin D are associated with poorer lung function, increased use of medication, worse symptoms and an increase in the mass of airway smooth muscle in children with STRA. It is therefore plausible that the link between airway smooth muscle mass and lung function in severe asthma may be partly explained by low levels of vitamin D.”
She adds that identifying vitamin D deficiency in children with STRA and treating it will help reduce the structural alterations taking place in the airway smooth muscle. This will help decreasing asthma-related symptoms and enhance the lung function. However, the analysts caution that children should not be given vitamin D supplements without reference from a physician. Also larger trials are required to affirm the results, they conclude.
The study is published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.