New research has revealed that vitamin D deficiency could alter lung structure and function.
Vitamin D deficiency has previously been linked to the severity of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in humans, but until now there has not been any evidence to prove this link.
Australian researchers evaluated the lung responses of 2-week old, vitamin D deficient mice and compared them with healthy mice to determine what effects the deficit may have on the growth, structure or function of the lungs.
The results showed that airway resistance was significantly higher while lung volume was significantly lower in vitamin D-deficient mice. This is the first time vitamin D has been concretely linked to a decreased lung function.
The findings have important implications for the prevention of lung diseases in populations where vitamin D deficiencies are common, however further studies are needed to find out whether taking a vitamin D supplement may improve lung health in susceptible populations.