Vitamin D may protect asthmatics and others from an allergic response linked to common mould, suggests a study from the US supporting the vitamin’s immune health effects.
Results of a cell study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, identified a connection between vitamin D levels and the activity of certain allergy associated immune cells.
“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, said lead researcher Dr Jay Kolls from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
Allergies – especially to common mould (Aspergillus fumigatus) can cause often severe complications for asthma sufferers, whilst also commonly effecting sufferers of cystic fibrosis.
Mould is one of the most widespread fungal organisms inhaled by people, but does not cause any problems to the vast majority of people. However, in asthmatics and in patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), exposure can lead to significant allergic symptoms. Up to 15 percent of CF patients have severe allergic responses – called Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) due to the inhalation of common moulds.
The research revealed high Th2 allergen reactivity in ABPA patients was associated with lower blood levels of vitamin D. “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,”said Dr. Kolls.
The study concludes that its data strongly implicates vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for ABPA. Also suggesting that vitamin D enrichment or supplementation could be a valuable way to treat, and possibly prevent allergic reactions to common mould in people that are already suffering from respiratory conditions
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