New research has suggested that the amount of time an asthma patient spends in the sun may have an impact on their illness. The research, conducted by a team at King’s College London, suggests that having low levels of vitamin D is linked to a worsening of symptoms.
Vitamin D is produced by the body when it is in sunlight, meaning holidays to Florida, Australia, and other such sunny locations may be just what the doctor ordered for those suffering from asthma. The latest research has shown that the sun vitamin calms an over-active section of the immune system in asthma.
"We know people with high levels of vitamin D are better able to control their asthma - that connection is quite striking," said Prof Catherine Hawrylowicz, research at King’s College London. "We think that treating people with vitamin D could make steroid-resistant patients respond to steroids or let those who can control their asthma take less steroids," Hawrylowicz told the BBC.
However, moving permanently to a sunny destination may cause a negative effect as too much vitamin D has been strongly implicated in asthma. Holidays to sunny locations may provide just the right amount of vitamin D to aid the immune system and help fight off infections.
"For the majority of people with asthma, current available medicines are an effective way of managing the condition but we know that they don't work for everyone, which is why research into new treatments is vital,” said Malayka Rahman, from Asthma UK.
"We also know that many people with asthma have concerns about the side effects of their medicines so if vitamin D is shown to reduce the amount of medicines required, this would have an enormous impact on people's quality of life.
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