Vitamin D :: Low vitamin D intake could affect lung
Intake of low Vitamin D could affect lung, particularly in teenagers, says a study.
Jane Burns at the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston and other researchers studied 2,112 adolescents aged between 16 and 19, according to Newswise wire.
They found that 35 percent who had a low dietary intake of Vitamin D as per International Unit (IU) or less per day had significantly lower lung function compared with teens who consumed more.
They did not find any difference between girls and boys.
The recommended amount of Vitamin D is 200 IU for this age group.
Vitamin D is found in fortified dairy products, egg yolks, saltwater fish and liver. Some calcium supplements have Vitamin D added.
It is well known as an important nutrient for strong bones because it helps the body absorb calcium. But recent studies have also suggested a role for Vitamin D in lung health.
Burns decided to study teenagers because this age group often has poor eating habits, and so they may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of dietary deficiencies due to their rapid physical growth and development.
“Vitamin D is promoted in terms of bone growth, but we also need to think in terms of Vitamin D’s other effects on the body,” Burns said.
“It may be that we should be promoting dietary Vitamin D intake at recommended levels to ensure optimal lung function as well as to form and maintain healthy bones,” she said.
While vitamin D’s exact role in lung health is not yet known, the nutrient is known to have an effect on the immune system, added Burns.
“We don’t know by which mechanism Vitamin D affects pulmonary function. It is an area that needs to be explored.”