Struggle With Allergies Or Asthma? Here's Why Research Says You Should Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is undoubtedly an essential vitamin that supports so many different areas of our well-being, from energy levels to immune health and more. And according to new research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Global, there's one group of people who may particularly benefit from upping their vitamin D levels—especially now that it's springtime. Here's what to know.
Studying how vitamin D impacts allergies & asthma
For this study, researchers wanted to dig into how vitamin D3 levels impact the inflammatory response in the body and how that response translated to allergies and asthma.
To do so, they looked at both children and adults, had them increase their vitamin D intake, and then assessed the participant's cellular inflammatory response, as well as any subsequent symptoms.
Sure enough, when participants increased their vitamin D levels, they experienced fewer symptoms and less severe asthma overall. Further, the study authors note, certain cells showed that higher vitamin D levels translated to more blimp-1 (a protein that helps promote a healthy immune response from T-helper cells).
And of course, for the sake of quality research, one of the study's co-authors replicated the study in mice and saw similar results. In fact, mice with increased vitamin D levels even showed fewer allergy-inducing antibodies that can exacerbate hay fever and eczema.
As the study authors write in their research, their results indicate that "vitamin D3 shifts proinflammatory immune responses to anti-inflammatory immune responses."
What to do about it
The findings of this study offer yet another reason to ensure your vitamin D levels are up to snuff, and the good news is, it's entirely possible to get your levels up to the healthy range.
A number of foods also contain vitamin D as well, like shiitake and button mushrooms (which can actually be soaked in the sun to elevate their vitamin D levels, BTW), mackerel, sockeye salmon, cod liver oil, sardines, and eggs. But of course, even natural sunlight and vitamin D-rich foods often aren't enough to get your levels where you want them. In fact, 41% of U.S. adults are vitamin D insufficient1, and 29% are straight-up vitamin D deficient1.
Given these stats, investing in a high-potency daily vitamin D supplement can help you reach (and sustain) vitamin D sufficiency. For mindbodygreen's top picks, check out our roundup of the best vitamin D supplement recommendations here.
We know that vitamin D is crucial to our overall health, yet so many people (nearly 42% of the U.S. population!) are deficient. With so many different benefits to having sufficient vitamin D levels, consider this research one more reason to up your own.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.