Taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy and giving them to babies may help reduce high rate of allergies in children, a new research suggests. To go a little further, the trial results also suggest that supplements could even help reduce child asthma.
In a trial of 260 pregnant women, the participants were randomly assigned to receive low or high dose vitamin D drops or a placebo.
Once each baby was born, he or she continued, until six months old, in the same arm of the trial that the mother had been in. At 18 months old, the babies had a blood test to measure antibodies to allergens, including house dust mite allergen, known to be involved in respiratory diseases.
The proportion sensitized to house dust mite allergen was significantly lower in the vitamin D groups than in the placebo group, according to results of the trial published in the international journal Allergy.
“Based upon a careful review of the records of the children’s visits to their family doctor, we also saw that this vitamin D supplementation reduced the proportion of children making primary care visits which their family doctor thought were due to asthma,” said one of the researchers, Associate Professor Cameron Grant, a Starship hospital pediatrician.
“Diagnosing asthma at such a young age is a difficult thing to do so we have to take this family doctor visit data with a grain of salt and certainly could not say for sure that the study shows the vitamin D prevents asthma,” Dr Grant said.
“But it’s the first study to show that correcting poor vitamin D status during pregnancy and infancy might prevent childhood asthma.”
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