British researchers claim that vitamin D can help asthma patients breathe more easily. Scientists at the King’s College London discovered that vitamin D may be prescribes as a treatment option alongside conventional steroids to reduce the symptoms of asthma in the sufferers. This may reduce their need to be prescribed asthma-specific medication.
The study found that exposure to sunshine resulted in lower levels of a certain natural chemical in the body that increases the symptoms of asthma in patients. As of today, severe forms of asthma are treated with the help of steroid tablets that can have severe side-effects. Several patients have a variation of the condition that makes it even more difficult to treat the condition and puts them at an increased risk of hospitalisation or the asthma advancing to a life-threatening stage.
To do the research, the experts examined the production of IL-17A along with the levels of chemical in cells in 18 steroid resistant asthma patients, over 10 patients who responded to steroids and a control group of 10 healthy people. The results revealed that those patients who had asthma had much higher levels of IL-17A than those who did not have asthma. Those patients with steroid resistance had the highest levels of IL-17A. When further tests were done it was revealed that in cases where steroid failed to cut the production of IL-17A in the cells from asthma patients, vitamin D cut the production of IL-17A significantly.
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