Black children with low blood levels of vitamin D may be at a significantly increased risk of developing asthma compared to those with sufficient levels of the nutrient, according to a new study.
Lead author Robert Freishtat, principal investigator at the Children’s Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and his colleagues took blood samples from 85 black children suffering from asthma and compared their vitamin D levels to 21 healthy black children of a similar age.
The researchers were surprised to find that approximately 86 percent of children with asthma had inadequate levels of vitamin D, while only 19 percent of healthy participants suffered from the nutrient deficiency.
“We were shocked to see that almost all of the African-American children with asthma that we tested had low vitamin D levels,” said Freishtat. “After adjusting for differences in age, weight, and the time of year of the testing, the odds of these kids with asthma being vitamin D deficient were nearly twenty times those of healthy kids.”
He added that parents should ensure that their children receive adequate amounts of the nutrient through milk consumption or vitamin supplementation.