Does a Vitamin Deficiency Make Asthma Symptoms Worse?

4 minute read

By Andrew Silver

Though there are several causes of asthma, scientists have discovered a unique link between vitamin deficiency and asthma. Start a search today to learn about the possible impacts of vitamin deficiencies on asthma.

Research has revealed that vitamins D, C, and E have some role in developing asthma and affecting its severity, so it follows that patients are curious whether supplementation could prevent the disease or improve symptoms.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs resulting in coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath. It’s estimated that 50 percent of people with asthma suffer from asthma attacks every year. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, asthma causes more than 3,500 deaths every year.

Causes of Asthma

A bunch of different causes can lead to asthma or trigger an asthmatic attack. Primary causes of asthma can be allergic and non-allergic. However, genetics play a massive role. In addition to genetics, people with a personal history of allergies, hay fever, or eczema are more vulnerable to suffer from asthma.

Some allergic causes of asthma include:

Non-allergic causes of asthma include:

Most cases of asthma are commonly diagnosed in childhood. Asthma with allergic causes usually comes along with other conditions, such as hay fever and eczema.

Symptoms of Asthma

The four main classic symptoms of asthma are:

  1. Coughing
  2. Chest tightness
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Wheezing

During an asthmatic attack, these symptoms become severe and more persistent. For example, shortness of breath in asthma may become so intense that routine activities, like sleeping, eating, and speaking, make you severely breathless.

Other asthma symptoms include:

What Is Vitamin Deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency refers to a condition characterized by a long-term lack of different vitamins in the body. Since each vitamin provides unique health benefits, the more vitamins you lack, the greater the impact on your health.

Based on the causes, vitamin deficiency can be either primary or secondary. Primary deficiency refers to a lack of vitamins due to an inadequate diet. Secondary deficiency is due to the presence of an underlying disorder that hinders the absorption of vitamins in your body. Its treatment requires managing the underlying health issue.

The most common signs of vitamin deficiency are:

Each of the above signs reflects the deficiency of a particular vitamin. Taking a diet rich in adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals is the safest and natural way to remediate vitamin deficiency.

The Connection Between Vitamin Deficiency and Asthma

While researching the possible causes of asthma, scientists have discovered that a lack of specific vitamins can be associated with the occurrence and severity of asthma. The following vitamins are found to be linked to asthma:

It’s important to note that vitamin deficiency cannot be recognized as one of the primary causes of asthma. However, the lack of these vitamins reflects the general well-being of an individual. A person suffering from vitamin deficiency is more likely to have a weaker immune system and is more prone to suffer from infections, allergies, and conditions directly associated with asthma.

Can Vitamins Treat Asthma?

A large chunk of asthma attack cases results from a viral respiratory infection. Any vitamin that boosts immunity and reduces the risk of developing a viral respiratory infection will have a role in fighting asthma.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is power packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have a crucial role in reducing oxidative stress on respiratory airways. Likewise, some studies have suggested the role of vitamin C in narrowing lung airways and improving breathing in people with exercise-induced asthma.

However, no single study claims that vitamin C supplementation can prevent or treat asthma in a larger population. Likewise, no research suggests avoiding the use of the vitamin to prevent asthma.

Vitamin E

Although many different studies have shown some correlation between vitamin E deficiency and asthma, supplementation has little or no impact in improving lung function in asthma. However, one study claims that there may be some role of one of the forms of vitamin E in controlling the symptoms of allergic asthma. Still, more research is needed on this subject.

Vitamin D

Most research related to vitamin deficiency and asthma is directed toward vitamin D. A series of systematic reviews conducted by the Cochrane Library revealed the role of vitamin D in managing asthma.

The “sunshine” vitamin was found to reduce asthma attacks, emergency visits, and hospital admissions due to asthma. Another study demonstrated that vitamin D provides some degree of protection against mild to moderately severe asthma in adults. Although the exact mechanism by which vitamin D supplementation produce the anti-inflammatory response in asthma is still unknown.

Learn More Today

While science has identified the role of vitamin deficiency on asthma, it’s hard to tell whether supplementation with any of the vitamins supports asthma management.

Start a search online to keep up to date on research in this area. And be sure to maintain a balanced diet that provides all the key vitamins, which can help improve the anti-inflammatory response of your lungs.

Andrew Silver