A Sneeze From Less Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D associated with children allergies

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Vitamin D is used by the body for a host of processes, including maintaining bone strength, cardiovascular health, and keeing cancer in check. New research shows that it may play a role in allergy development as well.

The new study shows that children with low vitamin D levels may have a greater likelihood of developing allergies. Vitamin D is important because it delivers calcium from digested food to the blood stream, where it can keep bones strong.

"Ensure your children get plenty of vitamin D."

A team led by researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine found no correlation between levels of vitamin D and allergies in adults.

However, the researchers did find that children with low vitamin D levels were more likely to have a sensitivity to 11 of 17 different allergens, including ragweed, oak, dog, cockroach, and peanuts among others.

The study's findings showed, for example, that children with a vitamin D deficiency were more than twice as likely as those with sufficient levels of vitamin D to have an allergy to peanuts.

According to senior author Michal Melamed, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the study's results do not demonstrate that vitamin D deficiency causes allergies in children.

Rather, the researchers only identified a correlation between the two. Nonetheless, Melamed says that children should still get the recommended amount of daily vitamin D (600 IU per day).

In Depth

  • The research team reviewed blood samples from more than 6,500 children and adults
  • The researchers defined vitamin D deficiency as having less than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood, and sufficient levels as more than 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 20, 2011
Last Updated:
April 21, 2011