Vitamin D for Allergy Prevention
Julian Whitaker, MD
If you spent much of your childhood outdoors, you may have done more than preserve your mother’s sanity. You may have spared yourself all the itching, sneezing, and watery eyes brought on by allergies—and even dodged a potentially life-threatening food allergy. Time outdoors means more sunlight exposure, and that means higher vitamin D levels. Researchers recently published a large study that found kids with a vitamin D deficiency (blood levels lower than 15 ng/mL) were more than twice as likely to have peanut allergies as kids whose levels were normal (over 30 ng/mL). Vitamin D deficiency was also linked to increased sensitivity to several other allergens, including dogs, ragweed, oak, ryegrass, and shrimp.
This study focused on allergies in children, but vitamin D has also been shown to protect against a wide range of conditions in children and adults, including asthma, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even dementia.
- Be sure you and the kids in your life are getting plenty of sunlight and taking enough supplemental vitamin D3 to achieve the optimal blood level of 50–80 ng/mL.
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