Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2012 - Volume 12 - Issue 3 > Vitamin D and atopy and asthma phenotypes in children
Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology:
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283534a32
OUTCOME MEASURES: Edited by Henry Milgrom and Ralph Mosges

Vitamin D and atopy and asthma phenotypes in children

Hollams, Elysia M.

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Abstract

Purpose of review: To give an overview of the recent research into whether a lack of vitamin D contributes to the development of atopy and asthma in childhood.

Recent findings: I describe here the recent epidemiological studies relating vitamin D status to atopy and asthma in children, focusing on determinants of major asthma phenotypes in childhood. Recent findings include the observations that vitamin D levels are inversely associated with degree of corticosteroid use, worsening airflow limitation and increased exacerbations among asthmatics. Low vitamin D has been associated with atopy and asthma in children and adolescents in a community cohort, predominantly in boys, with vitamin D at age 6 predicting these outcomes at 14. I also detail the mechanistic studies examining relevant vitamin D-regulated processes; recent findings include the demonstration that offspring of mice with vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy show reduced lung volume and function.

Summary: The current literature suggests that intervention to ensure adequate vitamin D levels during both pregnancy and childhood may reduce the development of atopy and asthma in children. However, important questions need to be answered regarding the levels of vitamin D required, which may vary between the sexes and between individuals, and the optimal timing and duration of such intervention.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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