London—Taking an oral vitamin D supplement in addition to standard asthma medication is likely to reduce severe asthma attacks, according to a meta-analysis of previous studies by the Cochrane Review. The UK study, led by authors from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health and Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, reviewed seven ethnically and globally diverse trials involving 435 children and two studies, involving 658 adults. Researchers found that giving an oral vitamin D supplement reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission or emergency-department visits from 6% to around 3%. Results also indicate that vitamin D supplementation reduced the rate of asthma attacks needing treatment with steroid tablets. Vitamin D was not linked to better lung function or improved day-to-day asthma symptoms, however.

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