The Role of Vitamin D in Pediatric Asthma

Bantz SK, Zhu Z, Zheng T. Ann Pediatr Child Health. 2015;3(1). pii: 1032. PMID: 25938135

The detrimental effects of vitamin D deficiency in pediatrics have become increasingly apparent and extend beyond skeletal health. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in atopic pediatric patients, in whom it may disrupt the immune system and induce significant worsening of reactive airways. This review presents evidence that lung development and immune regulatory functions are vitamin D-dependent. We also review clinical studies that explore how vitamin D supplementation may prevent respiratory infections and help improve asthma control, and we elaborate how these effects may vary among populations. We reveal the strong need of screening measures for vitamin D deficiency in high risk pediatric populations, particularly African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and children with obesity. Finally, we emphasize that all children, especially those who are asthmatic, should be assessed to ensure adequate intake or supplementation with at least the minimum recommended doses of vitamin D. The simple intervention of vitamin D supplementation may provide significant clinical improvement in atopic disease, especially asthma.