Kids lacking Vitamin D more
likely to have allergies
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Children with low levels of vitamin D are more
likely to suffer from allergies, a new study has suggested.
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that
compared to their peers, children with vitamin D deficiencies were 2.3 times
more likely to have allergies to oak and 2.4 times more likely to be allergic to
Allergies to ragweed, dogs, cockroaches, shrimp and seven other outdoor
allergens were more commonly seen in such kids, according to the study,
published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
For their study, the researchers looked at the serum vitamin D levels in blood
collected in 2005-2006 from a nationally representative sample of more than
3,100 children and adolescents and 3,400 adults.
One of the blood tests assessed was sensitivity to 17 different allergens by
measuring levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a protein made when the immune
system responds to allergens.
When the resulting data was analysed, the researchers found no association
between vitamin D levels and allergies was observed in adults.
But for children and adolescents, low vitamin D levels correlated with
sensitivity to 11 of the 17 allergens tested, including both environmental
Vitamin D is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, which may
play a role in the link, the study said.
Less than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per millilitre of blood is defined as
vitamin D deficiency.
Michal Melamed, an assistant professor of medicine and senior author of the
study, said the research showed only an association and does not prove that
vitamin D deficiency causes allergies in children.
Nevertheless, she said, children should certainly consume adequate amounts of
"The latest dietary recommendations calling for children to take in 600 IU of
vitamin D daily should keep them from becoming vitamin-D deficient," she said.