Abstract Title:

Vitamin D: can the sun stop the atopic epidemic?

Abstract Source:

Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Apr ;20(2):181-187. PMID: 31895129

Abstract Author(s):

Catherine M Hawrylowicz, Alexandra F Santos

Article Affiliation:

Catherine M Hawrylowicz


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review recent evidence on the capacity of vitamin D to prevent atopic disease, focussing on food allergy and asthma, and potential underlying mechanisms.

RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of allergic disease continues to increase worldwide. Vitamin D status is influenced by sun exposure and dietary intake. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased incidence of allergic disease and asthma. These associations are generally strongest in early life. The capacity of vitamin D to enhance antimicrobial pathways, promote peripheral immunological tolerance and maintain mucosal barrier integrity may underlie these associations. Interventional studies have addressed the capacity of vitamin D supplementation in utero and early life to reduce the incidence of disease. Ancillary studies have provided insights into potential biological mechanisms linked to these effects.

SUMMARY: Observational studies show an inverse association between vitamin D levels and development of food allergy and asthma. Secondary analyses of two recent interventional studies suggest that achieving vitamin D sufficiency throughout pregnancy reduces the incidence of asthma/recurrent wheeze at 3 years. Longitudinal studies of vitamin D requirements in utero and postnatally, better understanding of factors that influence bioavailability of vitamin D and mechanistic insights into vitamin D effects on neonatal-specific immune pathways are awaited.

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Sayer Ji
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